Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Premiership season 2023 - Round 17 Review

Total Crowd 9,682 (Avg 1,936)

Hi Footy fans...

What a hot weekend we just had here. Its usually around this time of year that there's some spanners thrown around and quite often, an engine ends up being stalled as a result. Some will say that they'd rather have one little brain fade, one last loss on the board, that end of minor round reality check before we hit the business end. Thing is, though its probably good to get that out of the system, sometimes it just doesn't have the desired effect. Some examples... first we look at the Bulldogs of 1979, finished minor premiers with a three-point advantage over the Magpies. They won six out of their seven minor round games, but a final home and away season loss to South was just the beginning of their downfall as they crashed out of finals in straight sets. The Bloods finished second in 1998 after winning the last three regular season games and then a Qualifying Final. But then the eventual grand finalists would turf them out in consecutive weeks, including an absolute car crash Preliminary Final. Then there's the Tigers, who have probably lost more premiership deciders than anyone, as well as having some disaster exits. One was as recent as 2009 where after contesting a Grand Final in the previous year, dropped just two games and drew in one only to finish first, then lose both finals games by one straight kick in each. With the Tigers once again sitting top of the pops, the last thing the faithful want is for history to repeat itself with the final furlong now well within sight.

Welcome to the Round 17 edition of the SANFL Wrap-Up.

All the weekend's fixtures would be played out on the Saturday afternoon, the first was an slightly early start down south at the Flinders University Stadium in Noarlunga where the Panthers hosted the Magpies. It was back in Round 6 that these teams last met, the Magpies coming out on top with a 28-point win at Alberton. The Panthers hung with the Maggies for most of the day and led at the long break and final change. But it was their last quarter that let them down, held to a single major in the final term while the Magpies booted five to take the points. Last week's outings weren't good ones for either side, the Panthers outlasted by a determined Norwood at The Parade, while the Magpies went down at home to the Tigers by nine points. Port started off the more dominant in terms of attacks, but a couple of chances to really put pressure on the Panthers didn't come off. They led by 14 points early into added time, but two late goals would have the Magpies lead by just two points with the board reading 3.2 to three goals. South then dominated the second term, the Magpies held to just one goal while the Panthers rammed through 7.3. Two late chances for the 'Pies went astray in the closing stages, the blue & whites taking a 35-point lead into the changerooms at the half-time siren. However, just as quick as the Panthers raced into a seemingly commanding position, the fuel they used would seem like it was only good enough for a jump-start. 11 minutes into the second half, the Panthers were out to a 41-point lead having added a further pair of majors to Port's one goal. It was here that the Magpies engine room clicked into gear, kicking five of the next six goals. Only a string of behinds kept them from being in front at the final change, the home side still leading by two goals at the three quarter-time siren. The visitors kept forging on, eventually taking the lead only six minutes into the final term. The lead would change hands a further four times, the Magpies would begin extra time with a two-point lead after scoring 4.3 to 2.1. However there would be no victor this time around, South's two final shots on goal finding minor scores to tie the match at 97 points each to notch up the first drawn game for 2023. Further more, it was the fifth tied game between these sides in history and a scenario not seen for more than a century since they last drew in early 1919! Kobe Mutch was the Panthers' best man, with 30 disposals, nine clearances and seven tackles. For the Magpies, it was Nick Moore with 18 disposals, 14 tackles and eight marks.

We now head back towards the city from the outer south and into the inner north for the second match of the round, its now time for the Northern Derby at Prospect Oval between the Roosters and the Bulldogs. The Doggies opened their 2023 account at the expense of the Roosters back in Round 2 at Elizabeth, despite the rather average shooting on goal the Dogs were just a touch more efficient in their 27-point victory. North's shooting was well off par compared to the previous week against the Bloods, kicking 5.10 in contrast to the 10.19 they managed at Prospect. There was plenty on the line in this battle, the Roosters usurping the Bulldogs' position on the ladder after a win against the Eagles last week, they could thank Sturt for this after they downed the Dogs at the Ponderosa. It was a second-straight one-kick loss for Centrals, who gave up a four-kick lead after an eight-minute interruption due to a horrid collision of bodies that required an ambulance. The match would be plagued with some overly zealous officiating from the umpires, who would be under vocal attack from both sides thanks to some questionable and trigger happy moments. The Dogs were the ones on top at quarter-time, they kicked three goals without a miss while the Roosters' single missed chance from their three scores would see them down by five points at the first change. The Roosters were better with the ball in the second quarter, but a bunch of behinds during the middle of the term would keep the game well and truly up for grabs going into the long break. North would go into said break in front on the board, they scored 3.5 to 2.4 and at half-time they were up by two points. It was the Bulldogs turn to burn a swag of chances on goal in the third term, the gap still just one straight kick going into the final stanza. Centrals' second goal and last score of the term was a beauty from the boundary/50m arc junction, bringing it back to three points after North scored 3.1 to 2.6. The game became an arm-wrestle in to finish the afternoon off, the Roosters threatened to pull away if not for their accuracy as they kicked three behinds. Finally, on the cusp of time-on, the Dogs put through the only major sandwiched by a pair of behinds to take the lead. Centrals would end up winning by two points, the siren blaring just shy of 24 minutes which took everyone by surprise. Harry Grant may be a wildcard for the Russell Medal this season, he was named best for Centrals with 34 disposals as well as six marks and clearances. North would vote in Andrew Moore as their standout, he finished with 25 disposals, 10 clearances and nine tackles.

The third game for the weekend sends us out to the mid-western suburbs and into the Maughan Thiem Kia Oval in Woodville where the Eagles faced the Tigers. The Bays made it four consecutive victories over the Eagles back in Round 3 at Brighton Road, the Eagles' second half making for a forgettable afternoon at the seaside. The Tigers were down by seven points at quarter-time, but then bagged 13 goals to four over the next three quarters to win by eight goals in the early stages of their unbeaten run. The Eagles' fight for finals was brought to an end at the hands of the Roosters last week in their 15-point defeat at Oval Avenue, while the Tigers continue to avoid the grasp of nearest rivals Sturt and the Crows after they emerged victorious at Alberton against the old enemy to stay atop the league ladder. It didn't take long for the goals to come, the first term had plenty to cheer about goal-wise. The Tigers bagged the first within a minute of the kick-off, but then the Eagles found some rhythm over the ensuing nine minutes with four goals of their own. The Tigers would bring the gap back to a single kick by the first change, the board at quarter-time would read as the Eagles leading by a goal 5.2 to 4.2. A couple of early goals by the Eagles upon the restart had the Tigers down by three goals after three minutes, but would then be made to wait for a third as Glenelg kicked 6.1 to go into the half-time break with a 13-point lead. It looked like being just another afternoon beating at the hands of the Tigers, but then came the second half and the first of those spanners in the works for the table toppers, though losing a key forward prior to kick-off wouldn't have helped. The Tigers' third term was quite woeful, blasting wide some cruicial chances as the Eagles' nothing-to-lose approach made its impact. The home side would score 4.1 to 1.4 to lead by two points at the final change. Glenelg's grip on the minor premiership would be loosened a little at the end of the day, the Eagles finishing off with a 4.5 to 1.3 last term to run out shock 22-point winners. James Rowe was the all-out standout for the victors, with 34 disposals, nine marks and eight tackles. The Tigers would name Corey Lyons as their best, finishing with 31 disposals, 10 clearances and six tackles.

Game number four brings us from the mid-west to the inner west and into the Hisense Stadium in Richmond for the battle of this season's cellar dwellers between the Bloods and the Redlegs. It was back in Round 6 that the Bloods helped prolong the premiers' 2023 misery, winning by two goals at the Centenary Oval in Port Lincoln. Norwood's horrid shooting on goal resulted in just eight goals from 22 scoring shots, while Westies were in extremely rare form with the Burley with a return of 11.8. Fortunes have been far from kind since that showing, the Bloods' loss to Adelaide at Murray Bridge combined with the 'Legs victory against South putting the red & blacks right in the frame for yet another wooden spoon. Victory for the Bloods would mean a stay of execution for another week, as well as being a third straight win over the Redlegs. Norwood were the better finishers in the opening term, while the Bloods were struggling for majors with three behinds in as many minutes. At quarter-time, the 'Legs held a nine-point lead, the board showing 3.1 to 1.4. Westies' fortunes in the goalfront worsened in the second term, again managing just one major along with six behinds. The Redlegs on the other hand were finding goals, kicking 5.2 with three of those majors coming in time-on alone. At the half-time break, the Redlegs' advantage was out to almost five goals. The story of the Bloods' year has been plenty of character, but unable to run out games, on more than one occasion they've hung tough with the top sides only for a hole in defence to be exploited at the wrong time. Rarely have they produced big comebacks. This was sort of set to continue today, but on a completely different note. The 'Legs kicked the opening goal of the second half, but then four goals over the course of seven minutes brought them back in contention. Altogether, the Bloods kicked 5.3 to 2.3, the deficit reduced to 11 points. West kept plugging away in the final term and kicked three goals to four and in the finish, it looked as though their efforts were going to reap rewards. Unfortunately, the scoreboard attendant had failed to record a behind for Norwood at some point in the game, turning what was a one-point win for West into a draw, condemning the home side to another last place finish for 2023 with one game to go. Thomas Morrish was the Bloods' best afield, with 30 disposals and seven tackles, while the Redlegs named Jacob Kennerley as theirs with 24 disposals, seven tackles and six marks.

The final match for the weekend takes us to the south side of Adelaide and to the tree-lined streets of Unley, where the Double Blues faced the Crows at the Wigan Oval. The Blues won a third straight outing against the Crows from their last meeting at Oxford Terrace back in Round 6, the Crows left to rue some wasted chances and being held to a behind in the final stanza and going down by 10 points. The Blues were putting on a scoring clinic for over three quarters, it was only their last term that made them look almost as bad. Sturt had 9.1 on the board at three quarter-time, ending with 10.6. Adelaide in contrast finished with 8.8. The Blues would only barely survive their trip to Elizabeth last week, coming back from 22 points down to four-point winners. Adelaide had no such troubles in their trip out to Murray Bridge against the Bloods, winning by 38 points. Just from their near miss at the Ponderosa, some would think that this 2nd vs 3rd would play out as anything but a top-three clash. That wasn't necessarily the case, with both sides starting off kicking 2.3 each in the opening term to tie the scores at quarter-time, Adelaide's second goal near the end of the term squaring things up. The Blues then ramped it up in the second quarter, they would go into the half-time break with a three-goal lead after outscoring the Crows seven goals to four, both missing a pair of chances each as well. The Crows' line-up would only sport 10 AFL-listed players in this match, plus a couple of other key players were missing as well. But this would prove to be a mere inconvenience for the Crows, who have declared their desire to go all the way. When play resumed, Adelaide would rule most of the third quarter up to about 16 minutes, even taking the lead temporarily after scoring 3.2 to one behind. Sturt responded with three late goals, Adelaide putting one last major through before the siren as the home side went into the final stanza with an 11-point lead. But unlike last week at Elizabeth, it was Sturt's turn to watch as their lead fizzled away. The Blues' shooting went to pot and the visitors bagged six goals to 1.3, Adelaide running out 16-point winners and taking second spot in the process. Jackson Hately was named best for the Crows, with 28 disposals, nine marks and seven tackles, while Sturt named James Battersby with 31 disposals and 10 marks.


Saturday August 19
South Adelaide 15.7 (97)
Port Adelaide 15.7 (97)
1,380 @ Flinders University Stadium, Noarlunga

Central District 8.12 (60)
North Adelaide 8.10 (58)
1,779 @ Prospect Oval

Woodville-West Torrens 16.8 (104)
Glenelg 12.10 (82)
1,163 @ Maughan Thiem Kia Oval, Woodville

West Adelaide 10.16 (76)
Norwood 11.10 (76)
1,299 @ Hisense Stadium, Richmond

Adelaide 16.7 (103)
Sturt 13.9 (87)
4,061 @ Wigan Oval, Unley

South -- Skinner (shoulder), Kraemer (knee), Jones (neck)
North -- Blacker (concussion), Nutting, Turner (hamstring)
W-WT -- Cameron (back), Angove (ankle), McFarlane (knee)
Glenelg -- Gerloff (elbow), Wisdom (hamstring), Turner (abdominal), Yates (back)
West -- Cottrell (ankle)
Adelaide -- McPherson (leg)

Port -- Fantasia, Sutcliffe (striking), Evans, Montgomery (rough conduct), Carter (misconduct)
Central -- McLennan, Munn (rough conduct)
North -- Moore (striking), Dinning (rough conduct)
W-WT -- Rowland (rough conduct)
West -- Johnson (striking)
Adelaide -- Berry (rough conduct)

Glenelg -- 28pts (14-4-0), 58.5%
Adelaide -- 26pts (13-5-0), 61.4%
Sturt -- 26pts (13-5-0), 51.5%
Port -- 17pts (8-8-1), 49.1%
Central -- 16pts (8-9-0), 47.1%
North -- 16pts (8-9-0), 46.9%
W-WT -- 12pts (6-11-0), 47.2%
South -- 11pts (5-11-1), 45.5%
Norwood -- 11pts (5-11-1), 45%
West -- 7pts (3-13-1), 45.4%

Next weekend in Round 18... the finish line is nigh!

Saturday August 26 @ 2:10pm
Woodville-West Torrens vs. West Adelaide; Maughan Thiem Kia Oval, Woodville
Central District vs. Port Adelaide; X-Convenience Oval, Elizabeth
Glenelg vs. South Adelaide; Stratarama Stadium, Glenelg
North Adelaide vs. Sturt; Prospect Oval
Norwood vs. Adelaide; Coopers Stadium, Norwood

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

R-17, Ladder

Team GP PTS %
GLEN 17 28 58.54
ADEL 17 26 61.41
STURT 17 26 51.49
PORT 17 17 49.07
CENT 17 16 47.08
NORTH 17 16 46.94
W-WT 17 12 47.18
SOUTH 17 11 45.45
NORW 17 11 44.99
WEST 17 7 45.39


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