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Premiership season 2023 - Round 15 Review

Total Crowd 6,886 (Avg 1,722)

Hi Footy fans...

We're now coming up to the final few weeks of the 2023 premiership season and we're in for an interesting finish to the minor round. Before that can happen though, there's one last seasonal break for the league, which for some teams is a good thing, to work on some tactics that may not be working. In the middle of the table fighting for September action you have the Magpies, the Roosters, Centrals and the Eagles. Three of which are separated by a single victory or percentage, the other is likely going to have to win every last game of the regular season and hope for someone else in that middle order to crash and burn in the meantime. There's just as much a mathematical chance for the Panthers to break into the five with the same scenario across the middle order. For everybody however, there are some banana peels along the road to Adelaide Oval. Those who wont be contesting September however, are the Bloods and the Redlegs. Westies badly want to avoid the wooden spoon for a fifth consecutive season, while the Redlegs would like to avoid the fate that awaited the Bloods after their last premiership. At the other end of the spectrum, while the Tigers and Sturt take up the top, it's the Crows that are sounding alarms after the last three weeks... and it was about to get very real after this weekend. Spoiler!

Welcome to the Round 15 edition of the SANFL Wrap-Up.

There would be just a couple of Saturday afternoon matches this weekend with the Showdown on, of course there had to be one sacrificial lamb to TV and it fell to the clash between the Double Blues and the Eagles at the Wigan Oval in Unley. The Blues brought an end to a six-game streak of losses to the Eagles in their last encounter in their Round 5 victory at Woodville. The Blues' goal-kicking wasn't pretty, kicking a dozen behinds in the second and third quarters. The Eagles left their run far too late, despite cutting a 40-point gap down to 22 deep into third term extra time, the Blues would keep them right there for the rest of the game to win by as much in the end. They were both in the losers club last week, the Blues' third term costing them dearly at Alberton in their loss to the Magpies, while the Eagles were smashed by Adelaide in a big blow to any September aspirations. Sturt burned a whole bunch of chances in the opening stanza, with five behinds before finally finding the big sticks. The Eagles didn't have that problem early on, kicking 3.2 to lead by nine points at quarter-time. That gap would go unchanged by the half-time siren, the second term was a bit of a see-sawing period in which either side owned half of the quarter each. The Blues owned the first 17 minutes, kicking 3.3 to the Eagles' two minor scores. Their hold on the lead was short lived with the Eagles kicking 4.1 for the remaining time, only a late Sturt goal restoring the earlier gap of nine points in favour of the home side going into the long break. The struggle was very real in the third quarter when play resumed, again a tale of two halves. There was far less scoring though, the Blues kicking 1.2 over the first 13 minutes to close to one point of the home side. It was back out to a two-kick deficit by the final change however, the Eagles' 1.1 putting them back out to eight points ahead come three quarter-time. Unfortunately for the Eagles, their irritating inability to run out final quarters was back again and they would pay the price. They managed just one goal as the Blues ran over the top of them with their return of 4.5, the visitors emerging 15-point winners and putting a further dent in the Eagles' finals chances. Josh Hone took out best afield honours for Sturt, with 23 disposals, five clearances and tackles as well as three goals. For the Eagles, it was Joseph Sinor with 22 disposals and nine tackles.

The other Saturday arvo game brings us to, yep you guessed it, the Adelaide Oval for the curtain raiser to Showdown 54 between the Crows and the Magpies. The last time that these sides met, the Crows handed out a 13-goal belting as the visitors back in this year's season opener. A second term burst was the catalyst for the Crows' victory, going from four points up at quarter-time to 26 points by half-time, then ramming a further 11 goals to three across the second half. Not the way the Magpies would have liked to open the year, no doubt. Fast forward to now and these sides are in third and fourth respectively, Adelaide with a two-game advantage. The Crows have posted some impressive victories over the last fortnight against the likes of the ladder leaders Glenelg by 20 points and then the Eagles last week by 69 points. The Magpies have won their last four, including last week against the Blues. In the opening blurb, I spoke of the Crows making a lot of noise across the competition. Today was going to be no exception. The Magpies' attack was going to be well and truly ineffective for the bulk of the day and the Crows were going to run absolutely rampant. Adelaide began the destruction with a 3.2 to 0.4 first quarter, taking a 16-point lead into the first change. Port had three opportunities in the first five minutes of the second quarter, but all came up minors along with another three in a row later in the term as the Crows began to build their insurmountable advantage. Adelaide answered the Magpies' six behinds with five goals to go into the half-time break with a 40-point lead. Amazing how each side had 10 scoring shots each by this time, more amazing is that Port's 10 behinds was exactly what they scored in the 1964 Grand Final by half-time. But unlike that day, there wasn't going to be some kind of fightback to cut the gap to something respectable. Adelaide completely overwhelmed the shell-shocked 'Pies, adding a further 4.3 to two behinds in the third term, the deficit now out to 65 points. And that was the end margin in the finish, the Magpies finally putting one through the big sticks with both sides kicking 2.3 in the last term as the Crows locked in their finals double chance. Sam Berry was Adelaide best afield, with 28 disposals along with nine tackles and clearances. Port's standout was Riley Bonner, with 28 disposals -- 20 of them kicks -- and seven marks.

The other games would be played out on the Sunday afternoon away from the Showdown razzle-dazzle, we're off to the southern suburbs and into the Flinders Uni Stadium in Noarlunga where the Panthers took on the Bloods. Last time the south faced the west, the Bloods came away with a 22-point win at Richmond back in Round 3. The Panthers were two goals to the good at quarter-time, but then the Bloods kicked seven goals to one in the second quarter to flip the game on its head. Westies sputtered somewhat in the third quarter, brought back to within three straight kicks at the final change but would recover in the final term to secure the points. Both sides are on the wrong end of the ladder, only the Panthers at this point have any kind of shot at September. These teams both copped losses last week, with the Panthers going down in the SANFL "Distance Derby" at Elizabeth and the Bloods again unlucky to not cause an upset at Brighton Road. The opening term was a bit of a fizzer, only the Panthers managing any scores but were all missed chances as they went into the quarter-time huddle with a three-point lead. The Bloods would be the first to hit the goals column on the scoreboard, but by the half-time siren they wouldn't be the ones in the lead. South kicked three goals in contrast to their first term efforts, the Bloods with two majors as the home side were now up by nine points at the long break. Westies' first half was just riddled with skill errors, but with the Panthers not fully punishing those stuff-ups the game was not over by a long shot. The one thing the Bloods were getting right was their rovers in the centre, despite the Panthers rucks getting much more of the hit-outs, the Bloods were gathering more of the ball from those hit-outs. The struggle for dominance continued in the third term, the Bloods dictating a lot of the quarter and even taking the lead after 17 minutes with their 2.1 to one behind. But once again they failed to maintain the rage, the Panthers bagging a couple of late goals to restore their two-kick advantage. They led by 10 points at the final change. Ultimately, the faint sniff of a finals berth spurred the Panthers on, they rained the ball down on their goals for a return of 3.6 to the Bloods' two goals to snap their three-week funk and take a 22-point victory. Oliver Davis was by far South's best, with 29 disposals, 14 tackles and six marks. The Bloods voted in Kobe Ryan as their best on ground, with 25 disposals, 16 tackles and six clearances.

Next up we're going to the eastern side of the city and up The Parade to the Coopers Stadium in Norwood as the Redlegs hosted the Bulldogs. The Redlegs were unable to salvage a point from their last outing against the Bulldogs, leaving the Ponderosa with a five-point loss. The 'Legs were up by 10 points at quarter-time, but went wandering in the second quarter as the Dogs brought them back to a single straight kick by half-time and then overtook the reigning premiers going into the final change. A frantic added time period in the final term saw the Redlegs six points down after a 24th minute goal, however the opportunity to draw level at the death with a post-siren shot on goal was sent wide, ironically by an ex-Bulldogs player. The Redlegs season was put down several weeks ago, last week the Roosters put another nail in their coffin at Prospect, while the Doggies battle to break into the five got a shot in the arm over the last fortnight with consecutive wins against West and South. The Redlegs' inaccuracy on goal would have them trailing the Dogs at the first change, down by a goal at quarter-time with the board reading 1.6 to three goals without a miss. However at the long break they would turn that around, the Bulldogs suddenly unable to find the big sticks in the second term. Norwood would go into the rooms with a five-point lead after scoring 2.1 to Centrals' two behinds. The Redlegs were definitely the ones putting on more of the body pressure, they'd finish with over 30 more tackles than the Dogs. It was their inside-50 count that didn't add up for Norwood, having much more chances on goal if not for the Bulldogs' defenders. The home side could have had a three-kick lead come three quarter-time if not for a missed chance on goal at the siren, the gap at the final change would be 10 points after the 'Legs outscored the visitors 3.1 to 2.2. In the end, the Redlegs would win the day, but not after a time-on fightback that sent the home faithful's hearts aflutter. Norwood kicked to a 17-point lead deep into the added time in the final stanza, outscoring Centrals 3.2 to 2.1. In scenes reminiscent of the clash earlier this year, the Dogs kicked two more goals with just under a minute to go but couldn't get back into attack after the bounce as the Redlegs emerged five-point victors and also lifting them from off the bottom of the ladder. Nik Rokahr was Norwood's best afield, with 31 disposals, 12 tackles and nine clearances. For the Bulldogs, it was Harry Grant with 32 disposals along with eight tackles and clearances.

In the last game for the weekend, we now head to the inner northern suburbs for the encounter between the Roosters and the Tigers at Prospect Oval. The Tigers coasted to victory on the back of a huge second quarter at Brighton Road back in Round 6, they rammed through eight goals to go from a 15-point quarter-time lead to 58 points up at the long break. While the Roosters out-goaled the Tigers in the second half, the damage was well and truly done already with the Bays running off to a 57-point win. Liam McBean and Luke Reynolds combined to kick nine of their 16 majors that day, outscoring the Roosters off their own boots. The Roosters' grip on fifth spot has been tenous at best, less than a 10th of a percent ahead of the Bulldogs, their victory over Norwood last week allowing them to keep said position. The Tigers bounced back from their loss to Adelaide last week, only just managing to evade the plucky Bloods at Richmond. The Roosters made plenty of forays into attack in the opening quarter, but would go largely unrewarded on the scoreboard thanks to a pretty solid Glenelg backline. Both sides got four scoring shots each, the Tigers going into the first change five points up with the board reading 3.1 to 2.2. North's second term was far less impressive, they were kept to just three behinds. Their one saving grace was that the Tigers didn't blow them away, the game still very much up for grabs. Glenelg added just 1.2 to their tally, their lead stretched out to 10 points by half-time. A lot of the stats were even by game's end, hit-outs and tackles, even the disposals there wasn't much of a gap. But the Tigers were winning the clearances, while the Roosters, going by the free kick count were either committing undisciplined acts or sending the ball out of bounds for instant turnovers. The Tigers would hold a three-kick lead going into the final change, adding a further 3.2 to 2.1 in the third term to lead by 17 points at three quarter-time, though it could have been just two straight goals if not for a missed chance for North late on. Alas for the Roosters, not only did they end up dropping the points, but also would also drop out of the five with Centrals usurping their position. The Tigers finished strongly, kicking 4.4 to North's 2.3 to leave the chook-house with a five-goal win. Leader by example Max Proud was named best for Glenelg, with 27 disposals (25 kicks) and 16 marks to his name, while the Roosters would pick Frank Szekely as their best with 31 disposals and 10 tackles.


Saturday July 29
Sturt 10.15 (75)
Woodville-West Torrens 9.6 (60)
2,237 @ Wigan Oval, Unley

Adelaide 14.8 (92)
Port Adelaide 2.15 (27)
Adelaide Oval -- AFL curtain raiser

Sunday July 30
South Adelaide 8.11 (59)
West Adelaide 6.1 (37)
908 @ Flinders University Stadium, Noarlunga

Norwood 9.10 (64)
Central District 9.5 (59)
1,733 @ Coopers Stadium, Norwood

Glenelg 11.9 (75)
North Adelaide 6.9 (45)
2,008 @ Prospect Oval

Sturt -- Fryer (hamstring)
Port -- Sinn , Ferrari (hamstring)
West -- Bock (knee), Roberts (groin)
Norwood -- Pitt (ankle), Wright (shoulder), Lowe (concussion)
Glenelg -- Cole (finger), Lyons (foot)

West -- Beech (rough conduct)
Norwood -- Graham (striking)
Central -- Grace (rough conduct)
Glenelg -- Bailey, Newman, Pink (melee)
North -- Ramsey, Elbrow (melee), Combe (rough conduct)

Glenelg -- 26pts (13-2-0), 60.1%
Sturt -- 24pts (12-3-0), 52%
Adelaide -- 20pts (11-4-0), 62%
Port -- 16pts (8-7-0), 49.1%
Central -- 14pts (7-8-0), 46.8%
North -- 14pts (7-8-0), 46.2%
W-WT -- 10pts (5-10-0), 46.5%
South -- 10pts (5-10-0), 44.7%
Norwood -- 8pts (4-11-0), 44.1%
West -- 6pts (3-12-0), 45.6%

Woodville-West Torrens will be looking for a new senior coach at season's end, with Jade Sheedy announcing his intention to step down from the role at Oval Avenue. He cited "burn out" as the main reason for his decision, intending to spend more time with family as well as devoting more time to his construction business in Sheedy Homes. Jade's accomplishments include a 2002 double honour with the Double Blues, winning the Magarey Medal and a premiership that season, finishing with 255 games from 2000-2012. Before lobbing in at the Eagles' nest, he guided Athelstone to a Division 2 premiership in the Adelaide Footy League. His impact would have immediate effect for the Eagles, winning back-to-back flags as well as being victorious as state coach in 2021 and 2022 over Western Australia. His overall coaching record at SANFL level as it stands is 43 wins and 28 losses, five of those wins being in finals.

Quote from club president Christine Williams -- ”Jade has always had a profound and unwavering commitment to our club and all the people associated with it. His expertise and knowledge have enabled the club to achieve the highest honour in SANFL football on two occasions and assisted countless players to achieve their dream of being drafted into the AFL. Our club has been so fortunate to have had Jade, Luke Powell, David Couzner and Matthew Goldsworthy working in our football program, caring for the well-being of our players. The club will always be indebted to Jade and his family, and we would like to thank Jade’s family, Kelly, Ava, Will, and Max, for their unwavering support of Jade’s involvement with the WWTFC."

The league is taking this coming weekend off, but here's the skinny for Round 17...

Saturday August 12
Norwood vs. South Adelaide; Coopers Stadium, Norwood @ 2:10pm
Central District vs. Sturt; X-Convenience Oval, Elizabeth @ 2:10pm
Port Adelaide vs. Glenelg; Alberton Oval @ 4:40pm

Sunday August 13 @ 2:10pm
Woodville-West Torrens vs. North Adelaide; Maughan Thiem Kia Oval, Woodville
West Adelaide vs. Adelaide; Johnstone Park, Murray Bridge

So until next weekend... see you at the Footy

R-15, Ladder

Team GP PTS %
GLEN 15 26 60.08
STURT 15 24 52.03
ADEL 15 22 61.97
PORT 15 16 49.14
CENT 15 14 46.77
NORTH 15 14 46.17
W-WT 15 10 46.52
SOUTH 15 10 44.66
NORW 15 8 44.06
WEST 15 6 45.64


* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.