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Premiership season 2023 - Round 2 Review

Total Crowd 7,253 (Avg 2,418)

Hi Footy fans...

A shade under 11,000 SA footy-heads attended the four SANFL suburban games, not a bad start to a new season considering it shared the weekend with the Showdown at Adelaide Oval. The reigning premiers didn't get the start they wanted after raising their hard-won flag, with the birds of prey from Woodville swooping in for the points. Last year's lower enders were dealt blows as well, the Bloods and the Bulldogs again on the recieving end of first round defeats from the Roosters and the Panthers respectively. The Blues were victorious as well in their outing against Glenelg, which brought in almost 3,400 people into the smaller confines of Unley. But it was the Crows' merciless demolition of the Magpies that sent some shockwaves. Adelaide's 13-goal hammering of their bitter AFL rivals sent a loud warning to the league. The surprise turnout was definitely that of the match at Prospect, which drew around 2,700 through the gates. This week's action would take place prior to the Easter weekend itself, so perhaps holiday makers would get their footy fix in before heading out of the city. Starting on Thursday night and finishing up around dinner time on Friday, there was plenty of action on offer and maybe an opportunity for some teams to turn around their fortunes early in the season.

Welcome to the Round 2 edition of the SANFL Wrap-Up.

We begin this week's wrap with a pre-holiday stoush between old rivals under the lights of Coopers Stadium on Thursday, the Redlegs hosting the Double Blues in a battle of the affluent inner suburbs of eastern and southern Adelaide. The points were shared from their two outings last year, with the Blues taking a 28-point win at Unley in Round 5, then the 'Legs returned the favour in Round 12 by 26 points. On both occasions, Norwood had a dirty afternoon in front of goal especially in the earlier game when they kicked seven goals from 18 scores. While their shooting improved in the follow-up match, it was their defence in the third term that kept the Blues away at The Parade. The Redlegs' flag raising was ruined by the Eagles last week, going down by 46 points, while the Blues took a 31-point win over the Tigers at Oxford Terrace. The Blues hit the scoreboard pretty quickly, bagging the opening goal within 50 seconds. The term would belong to the Blues, outscoring the premiers 4.2 to 2.1 to lead by 13 points at the first change. The Blues peppered their goals for the better part of the second term, but a bunch of wasted chances would allow the Redlegs to reel them back in by the long break. After being down by 25 point at the 17 minute mark after Sturt kicked 1.6, the 'Legs scored 3.1 to bring the gap back to a single goal come half-time. The Blues hit the ground running again when play resumed, bagging a trio of majors in the first seven minutes of the restart. Norwood did respond but after drawing the Blues back to a 10-point gap, the rot set in again as the visitors got back in control. Sturt would altogether score 5.1 to Norwood's 2.3 to lead by 22 points by three quarter-time. The home side were reduced to spectators after just six minutes in the final term, the Blues romping away to a 53-point win on the back of a 6.1 to one goal final term. Can we officially call a premiership hangover in progress yet? Tom Lewis was outstanding for the Blues with a swag of stats, notching up 28 disposals, 16 tackles and 12 clearances. Nik Rokahr was Norwood's standout with 31 disposals, 13 clearances and seven tackles.

The other four games would take place during the afternoon of Good Friday, the first of which takes us to the Hisense Stadium in Richmond where the Bloods hosted the Crows. The Bloods couldn't touch the Crows last year, going down by nine goals in Round 6, then by six goals in Round 11. The latter encounter was particularly disappointing for the Westies faithful, the Bloods having command of the first half before going missing in the second. They were leading by 16 points at half-time, but could only manage 1.6 for the remaining hour while the Crows rammed through 10 goals. The Bloods were unable to take advantage of the Roosters' inaccuracy in goal at Prospect last week and despite a gallant fighback in the final term would lose by 19 points. The Crows ran absolutely rampant against the Magpies, inflicting a 13-goal hiding at Adelaide Oval. Almost 1,900 people arrived for this game, around 800 more than either of last year's corresponding fixtures so definitely a plus for the club and early on, the Bloods were in control. The Crows weren't having the best time in front of goal as the Bloods went into the first break with an 11-point lead with the board reading 3.2 to 1.3. The Bloods kept up the pressure in the second term, but late in the period the Crows were showing signs of awakening despite still sending more than a few shots wide. West led by as much as 17 points but by the half-time break, their lead was back to just eight points after the Bloods scored 2.1 to Adelaide's 2.4. The Crows would come back from the break a different outfit and unfortunately for the Bloods, history was about to repeat. They were still blowing several opportunities to put some real space between themselves and Westies, but their ownership of the latter half of the third quarter would see them ahead by 19 points by the final change after outscoring the home side 5.5 to 1.2. They would own the rest of the game, in almost similar fashion as last year's comeback in Round 11. A further 5.3 to the Bloods' 3.1 would see them home by 33 points in the end. Matt Crouch was Adelaide's best, with 37 disposals, nine tackles and seven clearances. For the Bloods, Joel Stevens was their man with 31 disposals, nine clearances and eight tackles.

Game number three sends us down to the outer south of town and into the Flinders University Stadium at Noarlunga, where the Panthers took on the Eagles. These sides shared the points on offer over their two outings last year, starting with the Eagles one-point win at Woodville in Round 9, then the Panthers with a 21-point victory at Noarlunga in Round 19. The earlier game at Oval Avenue was an all-out slog on a filthy, boggy deck, with just seven goals from 20 scoring shots. It was one that got away from the Panthers, but they made up for it later in the year despite their horrid accuracy on goal when they kicked nine goals from a possible 27 scores. Both sides came in on the back of sterling performances in the opening round, the Panthers winning the Distance Derby against Centrals, while the Eagles spoiled the flag party at The Parade with a big win. A northerly breeze in the opening term should have put the Eagles further in front at the first change, but blew several big chances in the first term to lead by 16 points at the first change with the board reading 3.5 to 1.1. Once the Panthers were heading in that direction in the second quarter, they didn't waste the breeze. They would hold the Eagles to just one behind and bag five unanswered goals for themselves to be up by 13 points at the half-time break. The third term was not a spectacle to behold in regards to attacks, more emphasis on defence going by the very little work the scoreboard attendant had to put in. The Panthers scored the first goal after almost four minutes to stretch their lead to 19 points, but within two minutes it was back to 13. Come the three quarter-time siren, that gap was narrowed to seven points with a late Eagles goal. Unfortunately the Eagles goal-kicking radar went on the fritz once again and the Panthers answered a pair of behinds with two goals. The visitors kept trying but were kept well at bay to the finish. In the end, it was South by 11 points with a 2.1 to 1.3 final term. Mitch O'Neill was South's best afield with 28 disposals, six tackles and four clearances. The Eagles would name Mitch Hardie as their best on ground, with 31 disposals and 10 tackles.

Next up in game four of the pre-Easter football festivities, its time to head up to the X-Convenience Oval in Elizabeth for the Northern Derby between the Bulldogs and the Roosters. The red and whites had it all over the Dogs in their 2022 encounters, with a 43-point win at Prospect in Round 3 and then a 38-point win at the Ponderosa in Round 12. On both occasions, the Roosters had one bad quarter. The earlier match saw this happen in the opening term when the Dogs kicked to a 20-point lead before kicking back, whereas in the latter game they went to sleep in the second term. But of course, in both games the Roosters ran away comfortable victors. The Bulldogs' third quarter let them down against the Panthers down at Noarlunga last week, while the Roosters did it the hard way in front of goal in their victory against the Bloods. The Bulldogs bolted out of the blocks early as they rammed through five unanswered goals in the opening term and would lead by as much at quarter-time, they also had three behinds on the board as did the Roosters. Not the start that the red & whites envisioned, no doubt. But from there, the goals for the Doggies slowed to a trickle much to the dismay of the home faithful and the inaccuracy bug was settled in for the long haul. The Centrals' defence though, as well as the Roosters' out-of-character ill-discipline would keep the home team well in control. Both sides gave away 24 free kicks each, but those that North were giving away were making their coach see red. The Dogs added a further two points to their first change advantage by the long break, scoring 1.4 to 1.2 to take the gap to 32 points at half-time. The Bulldogs' third quarter was better in regards to the big sticks, putting through 3.2 to the Roosters' two goals to take their advantage out to 40 points at the final change. One thing is for sure, the Centrals training sessions this week will no doubt be placing an emphasis on their shooting for goal. The goals dried up after the last break for the Dogs, the Roosters put all they had left into the final term but could only cut the eventual losing margin back to 27 points after outscoring the home side 2.5 to four behinds. Justin Hoskin was best for Centrals, with 27 disposals, six tackles and winning six free kicks. Frank Szekely was North's standout, with 22 disposals, six tackles and five marks.

The last match for the round would take place at twilight under the lights of the newly re-named Stratarama Stadium in Glenelg, where old Grand Final foes in the Tigers and the Magpies prepared to go at it. These sides traded blows on each other's home patches with the away sides getting the rewards, starting with a three-point win to Port at Brighton Road in Round 5, then the Tigers returning serve at Alberton by 39 points in Round 12. The Tigers were unlucky in the end at the Bay, they could have nicked the points for a second week running but instead of kicking a winner, the shot went wide and the Magpies rushed the ball away as the siren went. At the 'Pies nest later on, Port went missing in the second half and the Bays went on their merry way, kicking eight goals to one. Both sides were on the wrong end of the stick last weekend, with the Tigers going down at Unley by 31 points, while the Magpies were given a football lesson by the Crows at Adelaide Oval. This game was probably the best game on offer, turning out to be a see-saw contest. Port were in the goals column on the board within 30 seconds of the start, then again four minutes later. Glenelg would return the favour after 10 minutes and by the first change, the Magpies were ahead by a point with the board reading 3.3 to 3.2. The second term belonged to the Bays, keeping the Magpies to four behinds. The Tigers could have done better with their shots, kicking 3.3 to lead by three goals going into the sheds at the half-time break. When play resumed, it was the home side's turn to have a bout with the inaccuracy bug as the Magpies would tie the scores up by the final change after kicking 3.3 to Glenelg's three behinds. But the Magpies were all but shut down in the final term, the Tigers shutting out their old rivals for over 20 minutes and scoring 4.1 to Port's single minor score. The Magpies added 1.1 during added time, the Tigers taking their first win of the year by 17 points in front of a crowd of almost 3,800. Lachlan Hosie kicked six goals, but as the all-round best afield for Glenelg it was Matt Snook with 23 disposals, 13 tackles and five clearances. The Magpies best was Trent Dumont, with 22 disposals and 10 tackles.


Thursday April 6
Sturt 16.10 (106)
Norwood 8.5 (53)
Coopers Stadium, Norwood -- crowd number unknown

Friday April 7
Adelaide 13.15 (93)
West Adelaide 9.6 (60)
1,874 @ Hisense Stadium, Richmond

South Adelaide 9.2 (56)
Woodville-West Torrens 6.9 (45)
1,613 @ Flinders University Stadium, Noarlunga

Central District 9.13 (67)
North Adelaide 5.10 (40)
X-Convenience Oval, Elizabeth -- crowd number unknown

Glenelg 10.10 (70)
Port Adelaide 7.11 (53)
3,766 @ Stratarama Stadium, Glenelg

Adelaide -- McPherson (hamstring)
South -- Haines (concussion)
W-WT -- McFarlane (knee), Thompson (cheekbone)
North -- Craig (hamstring)

Sturt -- Thiele (rough conduct)
W-WT -- Pearce (rough conduct)
Central -- Hoskin (rough conduct)
Port -- Visentini (forceful contact)

Adelaide -- 4pts (2-0-0), 67.2%
Sturt -- 4pts (2-0-0), 64.6%
South -- 4pts (2-0-0), 58.5%
W-WT -- 2pts (1-1-0), 57.4%
Central -- 2pts (1-1-0), 50.2%
North -- 2pts (1-1-0), 47.8%
Glenelg -- 2pts (1-1-0), 47.2%
West -- 0pts (0-2-0), 41.7%
Port -- 0pts (0-2-0), 33.8%
Norwood -- 0pts (0-2-0), 33.2%

As said earlier, there's no action next week with the AFL's Gather Round invading Adelaide. But here's what's happening when the league resumes in two weeks for Round 3.

Saturday April 22
Central District vs. Adelaide; X-Convenience Oval, Elizabeth @1:10pm

Sunday April 23 @ 2:10pm
West Adelaide vs. South Adelaide; Hisense Stadium, Richmond
Sturt vs. Port Adelaide; Wigan Oval, Unley

Monday April 24 @ 7:40pm
Glenelg vs. Woodville-West Torrens; Stratarama Stadium, Glenelg

Tuesday April 25 @ 2:10pm
Norwood vs. North Adelaide; Coopers Stadium, Norwood

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

R-2, Ladder

Team GP PTS %
ADEL 2 4 67.18
STURT 2 4 64.58
SOUTH 2 4 58.45
W-WT 2 2 57.38
CENT 2 2 50.22
NORTH 2 2 47.79
GLEN 2 2 47.22
WEST 2 0 41.69
PORT 2 0 33.79
NORW 2 0 33.22


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