SANFL 2021 -- Round 15 Wrap-Up

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Norm Smith Medallist
May 8, 2001
X Convenience Oval, Elizabeth
AFL Club
Other Teams
CDFC (SANFL), Port Melb (VFL)
Hi Footy fans...


Yes my fellow SA footy-heads, it is official. As this post goes onto the forums, the South Australian Government announced a week-long lockdown which encompasses the Round 16 weekend. What has pretty much shut down state league football over in the eastern states has now brought the SANFL to a pause. This seems to also lay bare the desperation of the AFL for their game to continue despite now four states having some serious issues with the coronavirus. Even now, executives are meeting to devise some kind of strategy that could give them permission to continue playing. Meanwhile, second tier football is forced into recess. It also makes the AFL's haste to merge the Victorian and North East competitions look rather haphazard and rushed along with the obvious issue of COVID looming large at the same time. Not to mention there was a hastily arranged scratch match involving four AFL sides in Melbourne, highlighting some double standards on restrictions. But you can say that you can't expect anything else from the AFL. However I must digress, finding enough to talk about to open these threads can be difficult. We will now observe a minimum of a week without football, which will be even worse for players because there's no training allowed. Hopefully we're only a fortnight away from a return.

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

The first of four Saturday afternoon matches takes us to the ACH Group Stadium in Glenelg for the SANFL's Clash of the Cats, it was first vs third as the Tigers met the Panthers. It was back in Round 7 when the Tigers was at their mid-way section of their still unbeaten run in 2021, a game-breaking third quarter making the difference as the Bays left Noarlunga with a 40-point win. After fighting back from a five-kick gap in the second term, the Panthers were held to a string of behinds while the Tigers scored six goals. More recently, the Panthers put a horror three weeks behind them with a 17-point win over the Crows at Victor Harbor, while the the Bays went 14 straight wins against Sturt at home. Glenelg's recent clinical displays in front of goal took a backseat in the opening term, but they were also holding the Panthers goal-less. The Tigers scored 3.5 to South's two behinds to hold a quarter-time lead of 21 points. The Panthers hit back in the second term, reeling the Bays lead back to a couple of kicks by the long break. South bagged 4.2 to the Tigers' 2.2 as the home sides' advantage was reduced to nine points at half-time. The challenge was laid. The Panthers were actually harder at the body than the Tigers, with over 20 more tackles inflicted. The Tigers, however, have always shown that little more efficiency with their ball movement no matter how much opposition sides troubled them. The third term was an arm-wrestling match as both sides added two more goals to their individual tallies, a quartet of missed shots from the Bays and a couple from the Panthers added two points to Glenelg's half-time lead. In the final term, the first five and a half minutes continued the third quarter slog. The Panthers were all over the Tigers from the sixth minute and well into added time, scoring 2.1 to 1.1 and bringing themselves to within a single straight kick of the lead. But that was the end of the line for the blue and whites, the Tigers putting it beyond reach over the final four minutes with their 2.1 to win by three goals and keeping their run intact. Chris Curran was the best afield for Glenelg, with 24 disposals, seven marks and six tackles. For the Panthers, it was Bryce Gibbs with his 27 disposals and 14 tackles.

The next match off the rank takes us to the outer north of the Adelaide metro area and into the X-Convenience Oval in Elizabeth where the Bulldogs took on the Double Blues. The last time that these teams met, the Bulldogs spoiled the Zane Kirkwood retirement party when they nicked a 10-point victory over the Blues at Oxford Terrace back in Round 7. The Blues' main reason for going down was a third quarter lull where the Dogs when from eight points up to 28 by three quarter-time. The Blues made a decent last quarter challenge to the Bulldogs, but despite bagging seven goals themselves, Centrals' four goals kept the points from Sturt's reach. Though not a total four-quarter effort, it was one of their more complete. But the luck didn't last long, winning just one of the next five games. They lost to the Roosters last week, while the Blues became another notch in the Tigers' belt at Unley. Now this match was one of the worst games to watch this season, I'll get that out of the way right now. Scoring was going to be limited, although early on, the Blues looked like they were going to run with it after scoring 3.2 to the Dogs' single goal in the opening quarter to lead by 14 points at the first change. From here, the big sticks would stand there with very little passing through them. The Bulldogs wasted a trio of chances on goal, scoring three behinds to the Blues' one goal to stretch the advantage to 17 points come half-time. There was no rain, a little wind activity, but no real reason why the game panned out the way it did. It was almost a stalemate situation, don't let the Blues' lead fool you. Sturt stalled in the third quarter, their two opportunities on goal rushed through for behinds. The Bulldogs would draw them back to just one goal ahead when they scored 2.1 ahead of the three quarter-time siren. The visitors early goal proved the knockout blow five minutes into the final quarter, the Dogs managing just one behind to Sturt's two behinds as the Blues got their revenge with a 13-point win. James Battersby's 150th outing would see him named best afield for the Blues, notching up 25 disposals and 10 tackles. The Bulldogs voted in Kyle Presbury as their best player with 34 disposals.

Game three for the Saturday finds us back a little closer to town, coming back up the Main North Road as far as Prospect Oval where the Roosters hosted the Crows. Back in Round 9, the Roosters dominated all day and the only fault probably was two quarters where they didn't totally drive the point home. They won by 40 points, keeping the Crows down to just two goals across three quarters. They could have won by possible 10 goals if the Crows didn't show a little final term spunk, but coulda woulda shoulda. Last weekend the Roosters racked up their best score to date, winning by eight goals in a high scoring encounter with the Bulldogs. They kicked 21 goals that day in a game that yielded 34 altogether. The Crows went down by 17 points to the Panthers at Victor Harbor, though they were down by as much as six straight kicks mid-way through the third term. The Roosters wasted little time getting down to business, scoring the first major in 70 seconds on their way to a 27-point lead by quarter-time, kicking 4.4 to the Crows' single behind in the opening term. A warning shot was then fired by the Crows in the second term, who kept North to 1.1 whilst scoring four goals without a miss in the second quarter. At the long break, the Roosters lead was cut down to 10 points. But that shot would only serve to re-awaken the home side and although they missed several prime opportunities on goal, North re-established their earlier dominance to score 6.5 to the Crows' two goals to lead by 39 points going into the final change. It seemed to take the wind right out from under Adelaide's wings, they would only score a further four behinds in the final term as the Roosters added a further 3.1 to run out nine goal victors and as a result, rose to third position on the league ladder. Campbell Combe was the Roosters' main man around the ground, gathering 35 disposals, nine tackles and seven clearances. For the Crows, ruckman Kieran Strachan was their standout with 25 disposals and a big hand in their hit-outs count.

For the fourth outing on the schedule we crossover to the nearby Coopers Stadium in Norwood for the contest between second and fourth on the ladder, the Redlegs and the Eagles. Earlier this season in Round 8 at Woodville, the Redlegs went to sleep after the opening term, going from two goals up at quarter-time to losing by almost eight goals. The reigning premiers had their own goal-kicking issues in the second term but answered the early challenge with two four-goal quarters and putting the chokehold on the Redlegs' forwards. Both teams won their games last weekend, the Redlegs raiding the Magpies' nest for a six-goal win, while the Eagles won against the Bloods the hard way, kicking nine goals from 30 scores. The opening term was a fizzer, only the Redlegs getting on the board as the Eagles went without scoring. They only managed 1.1 though, leading by seven points at quarter-time. The Eagles were a more livelier outfit in the second term, but were finding the big sticks a hard ask. The gap was brought back to a single straight kick by the long break, Norwood kicking 3.1 to 2.8 to still be up by a goal at half-time. When play resumed, the Redlegs would take their lead to 19 points within 10 minutes with their score of 2.1. But they were then held scoreless for the rest of the third quarter as the Eagles finally overtook the home side with a run of five unanswered goals, including two within 70 seconds of each other. The chance to make it a three-kick gap was spurned later in the term, a behind in the last seconds saw the Eagles ahead by two goals at three quarter-time. The final quarter belonged to the premiers, though a streak of inaccuracy stopped a harsher margin. Norwood were kept to a single major, the Eagles scored 4.6 on their way to a six-goal win to move themselves two games ahead of the 'Legs, as well as North and South. The Eagles named James Tsitas as their best on ground with 29 disposals, 12 tackles and 10 clearances. For the Redlegs, it was Mitch Grigg with 29 disposals, five tackles and nine clearances.

The final match would take place on the Sunday afternoon, we now head over to the west side and into the Hisense Stadium in Richmond where the Bloods faced the Magpies. The Bloods kept step with the Magpies for the first half, even squaring up the scores at 27 points each at half-time. A tug-of-war with the lead ensued in the third term, but then a run of four unanswered goals in time-on followed by Port's three goals to one final term saw them home by 29 points. Both sides were on the wrong end of the stick last weekend, the Bloods unable to take advantage of the Eagles' wayward shooting on goal while the Magpies were pantsed by their old rivals from The Parade. The Magpies dominated the opening stages of the game, although the Bloods were no doubt thankful that they didn't make more of their opportunities. A late major for West kept them in touch by three straight kicks, scoring 2.1 to Port's 4.3 which saw the black and whites up by 14 points at quarter-time. The Magpies would stay in front at the long break, but would go into the rooms within just two accurate shots of the Bloods, looking for their third win of the season. They both had six scoring shots, Westies having the better accuracy with their score of 5.1 to 4.2 as the deficit was reduced to nine points at half-time. Nine minutes into the third quarter, the Bloods would take the lead. But almost like last time, there was a little bit of tug-of-war for a good 12 minutes over control of the game. Port were back in the lead going into the final change, an eight-point gap at three quarter-time after scoring 3.1 to 3.2. The Bloods kept pressing in the final term but the better efficiency of the Magpies saw the visitors through, Port's two goals to the home side's 1.1 handing them a 13-point victory. Xavier Duursma was named Port's best with 28 disposals and seven marks, while the Bloods named Bailey Chamberlain as their best afield with 25 disposals and 10 marks.


Saturday July 17

Glenelg 10.13 (74)
South Adelaide 8.7 (55)
1,953 @ ACH Group Stadium, Glenelg

Sturt 5.6 (36)
Central District 3.5 (23)
1,255 @ X-Convenience Oval, Elizabeth

North Adelaide 14.11 (95)
Adelaide 6.5 (41)
1,449 @ Prospect Oval

Woodville-West Torrens 11.15 (81)
Norwood 7.3 (45)
1,746 @ Coopers Stadium, Norwood

Sunday July 18
Port Adelaide 13.6 (84)
West Adelaide 11.5 (71)
1,346 @ Hisense Stadium, Richmond

Central -- T. Schiller (ankle)
Norwood -- Collins (ankle)

Glenelg -- Virgin (striking)
Central -- Grace (striking)

Glenelg -- 28pts (14-0-0), 58.1%
W-WT -- 20pts (10-4-0), 58.5%
North -- 16pts (8-6-0), 57.9%
South -- 16pts (8-6-0), 51.3%
Norwood -- 16pts (8-6-0), 50.4%

Port -- 14pts (7-7-0), 46.7%
Sturt -- 12pts (6-8-0), 49.3%
Adelaide -- 8pts (4-10-0), 42.5%
Central -- 6pts (3-11-0), 43.7%
West -- 4pts (2-12-0), 41.3%

Normally I would end this with my normal sign off, but at this time with next weekend called off it wouldn't really feel the same.

So I'll finish with a simple message. Stay safe, people.

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