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Premiership season 2023 - Round 7 Review

Total Crowd 5,599 (Avg 1,400)

Hi Footy fans...

This is probably going to sound like going over old ground. Last weekend, South Australia retained the Haydn Bunton Junior Trophy with a scrappy but hard fought 13-point win over Western Australia. Whilst it wasn't a skill-laden classic, it was still deserving of a crowd of its own. Over the years since 2018, both the SANFL and WAFL big-wigs have seen fit to play these games away from its core audience, inside the cavernous surrounds of the Adelaide Oval and Optus Stadium in Perth as curtain raiser matches to AFL fixtures. In previous years, the games haven't been totally inaccessible to fans, though coupled with the annoying prospect of paying for a ticket to an AFL game. This time around, the game was all but devoid of any avid SA footy-heads aside from a few die-hards -- and I guess not too surprisingly, the few Power fans in attendance cheering for the visiting Sandgropers. It seems as though the reward is no longer wearing the guernsey, but the "pride" playing prior to an AFL contest. This is the attitude of the league chiefs, who cite the fact of playing on the hallowed turf is the actual privilege. It beggars belief, really. The state guernseys of SA and WA have well and truly been taken away from the people. They must be returned to the people.

Welcome to the Round 7 edition of the SANFL Wrap-Up.

The football action would kick off on with some Friday Night Mayhem in the city's eastern fringes, the lights of Coopers Stadium shining bright as the Redlegs took on the Crows. These sides clashed on four occasions last year, with the Redlegs taking out both minor round outings at The Parade in Rounds 8 and 16 by five points and two goals respectively. The Crows seemingly humbled the Redlegs in their Qualifying Final stoush, inflicting a 55-point belting. But when they ran into each other again in the Preliminary Final, Norwood's fire burned once more as they brought the Crows down by 11 points on their way to the flag the following week. That fire seems to have been well and truly doused this season, the Redlegs still without a win after going down to the Bloods at Port Lincoln, while the Crows were outplayed by Sturt at Unley. The weather conditions made the opening quarter a rather dull one, both sides not finding the big ones at all. At quarter-time it was Adelaide with three behinds to the Redlegs' one. The 'Legs would end up finding the goals first after less than a minute upon the restart while the Crows continued to struggle in front of the sticks. Adelaide sprayed a bunch of shots actually, Norwood kicking three majors without a miss to the Crows 1.5. At the long break, the Redlegs were in front by five points. It looked as though a bit of self-belief had found its way into the Norwood camp. However that would end up being really short lived. They were silenced on the goal-front in the third quarter as the Crows made their play in the tough conditions, outscoring the home side 3.2 to two behinds to once again be in front. At the final change, it was a 13-point lead to the Crows. The visitors would control most of the final quarter, taking their lead out to as much as 31 points before the Redlegs could find the goals again. In the end it was another disastrous week for the defending premiers, Adelaide kicking 4.2 to 2.3 to leave The Parade with a four-goal win. Harry Schoenberg was best for Adelaide, with 29 disposals, six tackles and four clearances. Norwood's best afield was Nik Rokahr with 25 disposals, seven tackles and six clearances.

The rest of the weekend's matches take place on Saturday afternoon, the first of which would play out at the Prospect Oval where the Roosters faced the Magpies. The Roosters won on both occasions in Season 2022, starting with a 47-point win at Alberton in Round 8. The Magpies reeled back a four-goal quarter-time deficit to a 10-point gap by half-time, but were then held to just one goal as North kicked six goals for the entire second half. But then came Round 13, where the Roosters inflicted one of Port's most embarrassing losses in history. Against a heavily weakened side, the Roosters won by 21 goals. Port kicked just 1.4 that day, the loss becoming a new unwanted record against the red & whites, which was previously 83 points from early 1971. The Roosters' confidence has taken a bit of a beating lately, with losses to Adelaide and then Glenelg prior to the state match bye. The Magpies on the other hand have won their last three, including a fortnight ago against South at Alberton. The Magpies were controlling the bulk of the first half, but the Roosters weren't shrinking violets themselves, no doubt having a time on the track in the lead up to this outing. Port would only lead by a goal at quarter-time, with the board reading 3.2 to 2.2 to begin the day's proceedings. The lead would change hands and scores tied multiple times in the second quarter with the two sides going on a shootout. Port would only add a single point to their earlier advantage, altogether Port scored 5.1 to the Roosters' five goals without a miss to see the 'Pies up by seven at the long break. The Roosters returned from the break on a mission, albeit not capitalising on all their chances. Port blew come of their own as well as the Roosters seized the lead going into the final change. They kicked 4.7 to 2.3, a nine-point advantage to the Roosters at three quarter-time. Another shootout quarter would ensue to finish off the action, North extended their lead to 20 points late in the term with their 4.1 to 2.2. The Magpies kicked a pair of late majors, but that is as close as they got as the Roosters emerged triumphant by eight points. Aaron Young was North's best on ground with 30 disposals, 12 clearances and winning six free kicks. For the Magpies, it was Josh Sinn with 24 disposals, seven marks and two goals.

The second game of the Saturday football smorgasbord takes us down south to the Flinders University Stadium in Noarlunga, where the two southern suburbs teams in the Panthers and the Double Blues clashed. The spoils would be shared by the two clubs from their two games last year, the Blues victorious at Noarlunga by three goals in Round 3, then the Panthers by just one goal at Unley in Round 16. A costly bout of the inaccuracy bug cost the Panthers badly in that first game, kicking 1.9 for the whole first half. To South's credit, they cut a seven-kick half-time deficit and got within two kicks before one last Sturt goal. But they made up for that in the game at Oxford Terrace, coming back from 16 points down at half-time with a 6 - 2 goal tally in the second half to steal the points. The Blues maintained their unbeaten run back two weekends ago with their 10-point win over Adelaide, while the Panthers went missing in the final term at Alberton. The Panthers began with a bang, scoring three goals in six minutes to kick things off. They didn't find the big sticks again for the rest of the term, but Sturt couldn't surpass them with the remaining time. At the first change, the Panthers were up by seven points with the board reading 3.2 to 2.1. Sturt found more in-roads to their attacking zone in the second quarter, but after kicking the first major of the term would not find them again until play resumed in the second half. South's two goals would bracket a swag of missed chances for both sides, the Blues scoring four to the home side's three as South's long break lead would be set at two goals. Another first minute major to the Panthers opened the third quarter to put them up to a three-goal lead, but then the visitors made their move. With their score of 4.2 prior to added time, they hit the lead. Two cruicial missed opportunities to the Panthers in time-on would have the Blues in front by a goal at the final change. That is where the goals for the Blues would stop though, forcing them into full defensive posture as the Panthers pressed in the final term. It was crash-and-bash stuff, players on both sides throwing caution into the Noarlunga winds. Sturt added just two behinds, but their backs were holding pretty well, leaking only one goal deep into extra time. The Blues would hold on for a two-point victory, equalling their 1974 start. Tom Lewis was a monster for the Blues with his 21 tackles and 20 disposals. Let that number sink in, folks... 21 TACKLES. The Panthers named Mitch O'Neill as their best, with 25 disposals, 10 tackles and five clearances.

Next up for the third Saturday arvo outing we now head out to the other end of town and into the X-Convenience Oval in Elizabeth where the Bulldogs hosted the Tigers. The Bulldogs fell to the Bays on both occasions last season, losing at Elizabeth by 32 points in Round 8 and then falling short by two points at Brighton Road in Round 19. Glenelg adapted better to the sodden Ponderosa deck in the earlier match, the Tigers keeping up a steady tempo as was allowed in the conditions. They kicked two goals each term, while the Dogs only managed three for the whole game. The later game at Glenelg had the Dogs in front for most of the day, leading at every change before coughing it up in the final stanza. The Tigers kicked six goals to three in the last term to nick the result. The Tigers haven't tasted defeat since the opening round with North their latest victims, unlike the Dogs who have started falling back on old habits, losing to the Eagles at Woodville two weeks ago. Just like their last encounter at Goodman Road, the weather was average with the rain rolling in early as the Dogs kept missing the mark in attack. The Tigers were having some issues of their own, but it was them in front at the break with the board reading 2.3 to 1.6. The Tigers had an out of character quarter of footy in the second term, held to just one behind in added time as the Dogs managed to break into the lead going into the long break. Centrals' two goals had them ahead by eight points at half-time. The Tigers recovered from their second quarter lull in the third quarter, despite the rain coming down once again the Tigers proved they can play wet weather football with the best of them. They kicked five goals before the Dogs could register one of their own, re-taking the lead going into the final term. The Tigers would lead by 15 points at three quarter-time, having managed to score 5.1 to 1.2. The final term was an arm-wrestle much like the game at Noarlunga, minus all the smash though. The Dogs closed to within a kick of taking the lead again with a pair of goals, but their backs were unable to hold back the visitors whose single major was all they needed despite the 10 or so minutes still left after said goal. The Tigers escaped with a nine-point victory to hold onto second spot. Luke Partington was Glenelg's best with 36 disposals, eight marks and six tackles. For the Dogs, it was Harry Grant with 28 disposals along with eight tackles and clearances.

The final game for the weekend has us heading to the western side of town for the SANFL's western suburbs derby at the Hisense Stadium in Richmond, the Bloods against the Eagles. The tri-colours of Woodville took all the points from their two games in 2022, with a 13-point win at Oval Avenue in Round 3, then a 20-point win at Richmond in Round 12. The Eagles had a dog of a day in front of goal at home, after kicking 4.2 in the opening term, they proceeded to score a further 4.13 over the course of three terms and were perhaps lucky to leave with the points. They were far better in front of the posts when they arrived at Milner Road, but had to come from behind after being down by two goals at half-time. They would go on to bag seven goals to one in the third term and hold off a last term challenge to claim the points. Before the state game bye, the Bloods put more points on their board over on the west coast against the struggling Redlegs, while the Eagles saw off the Bulldogs by four goals at the Woodville nest. After a strong showing at Port Lincoln, West obviously hoped to make an impression over the side just above them on the ladder. It wasn't going to happen. They got the opening major, but that would be the only goal they would get for the whole half. They kicked just one behind as the Eagles kicked 4.4 of their own to lead by 21 points at quarter-time. Three more missed chances in the second quarter by West was answered by a further 4.3 for the Eagles, who would go into the sheds at half-time with a 45-point lead. Even after their victorious showing against the Dogs two weeks ago, this was what Jade Sheedy was looking for after their previous four disappointing outings. The Bloods found the goals again in the second half, but the Eagles would continue to put space between them. The gap would stretch to 52 points by the final change, the visitors adding 3.2 to the Bloods 2.1. In the end, the fact that these sides were next to each other on the laddder seemed unbelievable. The Eagles added a further 3.1 to 2.3 in the closing term, finishing up 56 point victors and surging into fifth place on the ladder. State captain Joseph Sinor was the Eagles best afield, with 24 disposals, 14 tackles and six marks. The Bloods named Sam Frost as their standout with 22 disposals, along with a half-dozen marks, tackles and clearances.


Friday May 26
Adelaide 8.12 (60)
Norwood 5.6 (36)
Coopers Stadium, Norwood -- crowd number unknown

Saturday May 27
North Adelaide 15.10 (100)
Port Adelaide 14.8 (92)
1,639 @ Alberton Oval

Sturt 7.9 (51)
South Adelaide 7.7 (49)
1,226 @ Flinders University Stadium, Noarlunga

Glenelg 8.5 (53)
Central District 6.8 (44)
1,244 @ X-Convenience Oval, Elizabeth

Woodville-West Torrens 14.10 (94)
West Adelaide 5.8 (38)
1,490 @ Hisense Stadium, Richmond

Sturt -- Grivell (ankle)
West -- Beech (hamstring)

Port -- Barkla (forceful contact)
Sturt -- Richards (rough conduct), Coomblas (striking)
South -- Sproule (striking)
W-WT -- Bruce (rough conduct)

Sturt -- 14pts (7-0-0), 58.3%
Glenelg -- 12pts (6-1-0), 59.2%
Adelaide -- 10pts (5-2-0), 62.4%
North -- 8pts (4-3-0), 48.1%
W-WT -- 6pts (3-4-0), 51.6%
Central -- 6pts (3-4-0), 48.8%
Port -- 6pts (3-4-0), 46%
West -- 4pts (2-5-0), 45%
South -- 4pts (2-5-0), 42.9%
Norwood -- 0pts (0-7-0), 37.5%

WOMEN'S DIVISION -- South first into final, Redlegs give Sturt elimination Blues
The SANFL Women's Divison Finals kicked off this past weekend at Flinders University Stadium on Sunday afternoon, starting with the Panthers topping the Bulldogs in their 2nd Semi-Final. South finished top of the pops to win the minor premiership, while this was as high as the Bulldogs have ever finished in the Women's league with consecutive no-shows since joining the comp in 2019. The Bulldogs first appearance in a final wasn't what they'd hoped for, kept scoreless in the opening term and held to two goals for the second half. Holding onto a one-point lead at half-time, the Panthers kept the Dogs from the big sticks and added a further two goals to take the victory and the first Grand Final spot. The Bulldogs will get a second chance at the premiership decider next week when they take on the Redlegs, who eliminated the Double Blues in the 1st Semi-Final that followed. Norwood won the first flag of the comp back in 2017, but have much to make up for since a straight sets exit two seasons ago. Sturt finished in a GF last year, but their loss to the Roosters still burns. Sturt would lead by three points at quarter-time, which was cut to a single point by the half-time siren with the board reading 1.4 to 1.3. Norwood would then kick a goal over the remaining two terms to the Blues' wasteful 1.5. There would be no redemption for Sturt in the end, going down by a goal. Centrals will face the Redlegs on Sunday at midday, the Preliminary Final to be played at Elizabeth.

1st SEMI-FINAL -- Norwood 4.3 (27) def. Sturt 2.9 (21)
2nd SEMI-FINAL -- South Adelaide 4.4 (28) def. Central District 2.5 (17)

Next weekend in Round 8...

Saturday June 3 @ 2:10pm
Central District vs. Norwood; X-Convenience Oval, Elizabeth
Glenelg vs. Adelaide; Stratarama Stadium, Glenelg

Sunday June 4 @ 2:10pm
North Adelaide vs. South Adelaide; Prospect Oval
Port Adelaide vs. Woodville-West Torrens; Alberton Oval
Sturt vs. West Adelaide; Wigan Oval, Unley

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

R-7, Ladder

Team GP PTS %
STURT 7 14 58.26
GLEN 7 12 59.20
ADEL 7 10 62.35
NORTH 7 8 48.13
W-WT 7 6 51.60
CENT 7 6 48.80
PORT 7 6 45.96
WEST 7 4 45.03
SOUTH 7 4 42.86
NORW 7 0 37.50


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