SANFL 2021 -- Round 5 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...

History matters. It matters to us SA footy-heads who stand on the terraces, the true believers of our clubs. Whether your club is more than a century old or half of that, we all get it and draw upon it. It certainly takes true believers to stick by some clubs, take for example South Adelaide. A club that hasn't had much to celebrate in over half a century, but still have its true believers. Or Glenelg, who are in their centenary year and premierships have been few and far between but the Snouts Louts are always there. Which brings us to the most successful mob in the land, Port Adelaide. Yes, they've taken their proud history onto the national stage, there's a lot of animosity and envy for who and what they are. And yes, there's still probably some ill feeling about their rogue bid to join the AFL. However, with the recent issues surrounding Port Adelaide's wish to don their most famous -- or infamous -- guernsey against their cross-town rivals Adelaide, it left most traditionalist and progressive SA football fans in disbelief that the governing body seems to lack its own will power against that of a man that still seems to have some stroke in the corridors of AFL House despite not being a club president. It also seems to reek of the old time inferred disrespect not felt since the State of Origin era, where long held Victorian attitudes toward SA football got in the way of progress toward a truly national competition. The SA premier even weighed in with his "VFL Melbourne mafia" quip. To be honest, they might be serving Port a back-hander, but really it's another in a long line of slaps in the face that SA football cops from across the border. But I guess when the cards were dealt, they who bluffed best came out on top... and this is the world we play in. Theirs.

Welcome to the Round 5 edition of the SANFL Wrap-Up.

We start with some Friday Night Mayhem on The Parade, the lights of Coopers Stadium burning bright for the contest between the Redlegs and the Panthers. The points were shared over their two games last season, with the 'Legs narrowly avoiding defeat at home in Round 7 with their four-point victory, but then falling victim to a 74-point hammering away at Noarlunga in Round 13. Now the past couple of weeks have not been kind to the Redlegs, after being smashed to pieces by the Roosters at home they would then fall to the Bloods at Richmond by three goals. A drastic fall from form after two fantastic wins in the opening fortnight. South on the other hand had yet to taste defeat, last week they downed Sturt by 39 points at home. There was a fast impact on the board in the opening term, but while South got the first major in 40 seconds, they weren't ahead at the first change. A Norwood goal in the closing moments put them up by two points at quarter-time, the board reading 2.3 to 2.1. Then the Redlegs went on a second term blitz, banging through 5.1 to the Panthers' return of 1.1. At the long break, the Redlegs were out to a 26-point lead. That second quarter contained some of the football that hadn't been seen since Round 2, some of that intensity was back. However, the onus was on the Redlegs to withstand what was coming in the next half, with the expected South fightback because they're not on top for nothing. The Panthers would repel pretty much every ensuing Norwood attack. But at the same time, the Redlegs battened down the hatches to stifle South's forward runs. The home side was held to just two points, but the Panthers managed just 1.2 to draw the gap back to 20 points come three quarter-time. The visitors continued to chip lightly away at the Redlegs' advantage, but for 12 minutes could only find minor scores. After each kicking two behinds, South found the big sticks at 13 minutes but didn't find them again until time-on. In the end, Norwood held on for a nine-point win after a 0.3 to 2.2 final term. Brad McKenzie was named best afield for the 'Legs, tallying 30 disposals, seven marks and six tackles. For South, it was Joseph Haines with his 28 disposals.

There were just two games for the Saturday afternoon, the first takes us to the Prospect Oval for the duel of two long time rivals, the Roosters and the Tigers. These two took points from each other as the visiting side in last year's outings, in Round 3 at Brighton Road the Roosters nicked a three-point win, followed by the Tigers' two-point triumph at the chook-house. The Roosters were unlucky last week against the reigning premiers at Woodville, going down by three points from the last score of the game. The Tigers, on the other hand, continued their unbeaten start against Port at home by nine points. In the beginning, the Tigers were all over the Roosters. A goal on the cusp of quarter-time saw the Tigers four goals ahead at the siren, the scores reading 6.2 to 2.2. The Roosters hit back in the second term, after the Tigers threatened to take their lead to nearly six straight kicks close to time on, North bagged a trio of late goals to bring the gap down to within two kicks by the long break. Overall, the red and whites scored 5.3 to 3.1, Glenelg's lead back down to 10 points at half-time. When play resumed, the Roosters continued to reel the Tigers back albeit slowly. A raft of missed opportunites stopped them from taking over the lead going into the final change, North scoring 2.4 to the Bays' 1.2 as the deficit was whittled down to just two points going into the three quarter-time huddles. But the Tigers weren't to be humbled so easily, the Roosters on the other hand crumbled quite easily in the end. They kept the home side well out of scoring range for over 20 minutes, kicking 5.4 before North got a goal themselves. One last behind by Glenelg put the final margin out to 31 points, a horrid way to go out for the North faithful given how hard their charges pushed in the first three quarters of football. From the two sides, it was a pair of current state squad members taking best on ground honours. For the Tigers, it was Luke Partington with 35 disposals, eight marks and three tackles. In the North camp it was Campbell Combe with 26 disposals and six tackles.

The western side of the city is where we're heading next, to the Hisense Stadium in Richmond where the Bloods faced the Bulldogs. These two teams faced each other in the second week of the "soft opening" for season 2020, an 86-all draw at the Adelaide Oval. It was mostly remembered by the Bulldog faithful who watched as the last shot on the sticks went right across the face of goal in a situation where any score would have given the Dogs the win with the siren going shortly thereafter. They did however, snatch all the points in the Round 9 game at home, winning by 22 points. This game had the ultimate contrast in fortunes, Centrals winning Round 1 but losing all afterward including to Adelaide last week, while up until last week Westies didn't have any points to their name until they brought the Redlegs down at Richmond. The Dogs had the seemed to had made some improvement with some returning faces, they would be in front at quarter-time by four points after kicking five goals to the Bloods' 4.2. A see-saw battle ensued in the second term, a pair of missed opportunites by the Dogs early on allowed West to keep the visitors within strike. But a pair of goals bracketing a Bloods behind saw the Dogs go into the half-time break with an 11-point advantage. Unfortunately for the Centrals' faithful, it was all about to fall to pieces again. In similar fashion to their drop off at Alberton in Round 2, the goal-kicking radar was off and a succession of behinds resulted as the Dogs peppered their goal for little reward. They kicked seven behinds while the Bloods scored 3.4 to overtake the Dogs and go into the final change with a four-point lead. Westies left the hapless Dogs in their wake with an unanswered four goals. Centrals kicked four behinds as the home side romped to a four-goal victory. Edward Allan was by far the best afield for the Bloods, he ended his day with 22 disposals and 11 tackles. For the Dogs, Justin Hoskin never stopped trying and ended his day with 26 disposals, two goals and 21 kicks.

The last couple of games took place on Sunday, we now head over to the Unley Oval for some high noon action between the Double Blues and the Crows. Back in the 2019 season, the Crows took both games at Oxford Terrace. First in the opening round by 32 points, then later in Round 11 by 21 points in one of the most sodden afternoons in recent memory at Unley. That day only nine goals were scored in the horrid conditions. Sturt came into this match on the back of a loss to the Panthers at Noarlunga, while the Crows surged into the top five with their victory at Elizabeth last week. The first half was quite the shootout, a string of missed opportunities on goal late in the opening quarter stopped the Blues from being much further in front. They kicked 3.5 to the Crows 3.2 to be up by three points at quarter-time. Late in the second term, the Crows put themselves ahead by seven points after scoring four goals without a miss to the Blues' 2.2. But Sturt would be back in control soon afterwards, putting 2.1 through before the half-time siren. At the long break, it was the Blues by a goal. When play resumed, the Blues pretty much dominated the third quarter, but still lacked the accuracy to really put the Crows under the pump. Sturt were as much as 20 points up just before time on with their tally of 3.2 to one goal. But an Adelaide goal in added time brought that gap back down to a very much do-able 14 points. Adelaide ruled the possessions in the final term and at 18 minutes, took over the lead by a single straight kick after they held the home side to 1.1 whilst scoring 4.3 for themselves. But in a nail biting last few minutes, it came down to one man and his seven-point play over the course of two minutes. That 1.1 was enough for the Blues to escape the Crows grasp by a single point, sending the visitors tumbling from the top five. James Battersby seemingly can't be stopped, taking best afield honours once again for the Blues with his 27 disposals, four tackles and four marks. For the Crows, Daniel Jackson's 21 disposals, two goals and three tackles earned him best on ground votes.

The last game for the weekend takes us up the Port Road to the Alberton Oval, where the Magpies hosted the Eagles in the Battle of the Birds. You have to go back to 2018 to find the Eagles' last victory against their fellow feathered foe, because over their two games in 2019 the Magpies took all the points. In Round 5 they took a 41-point win at the Eagles' nest at Oval Avenue, then rammed the point home at Alberton in Round 16 by 63 points. While the reigning premiers were forced to fully duke it out against their 2020 Grand Final opponents in their three-point win at Woodville, the Magpies' accuracy on goal in the final stanza cost them against the Tigers at Glenelg. That accuracy had very much improved today, but for 13 minutes in the middle of the first term, they did go to sleep a little and allowed the Eagles to stay within touch. At quarter-time, the Magpies were up by seven points, the scoreboard reading 4.2 to 3.1. But then came the second quarter, which by itself ended the match as a contest. Port rammed through 7.4 to the Eagles' single goal, the deficit blowing out to 47 points going into the rooms at the half-time break. Suddenly the Eagles were in panic mode, it was quite visible when play resumed. They spent most of the third quarter sending the ball out of bounds on the full. Port attack wasn't as fiery in the third term, but there seemed to be little they needed to do against the apparently impotent Eagles. Port added on 2.3 to the visitors' 1.1, the Magpies' lead now out to 55 points. It was definitely a shock result for the current champs, so it was a case of back to the drawing board for Jade Sheedy as the Magpies finished the job with a 3.2 to 2.3 final term to take a 10-goal win to get back on the winners list. State squad member Cam Sutcliffe was voted in as Port's best, notching up 25 disposals and laying six tackles. The Eagles named James Tsitas as their standout, who made 39 disposals, 21 kicks and seven marks.


Friday April 30

Norwood 7.9 (51)
South Adelaide 6.6 (42)
Coopers Stadium, Norwood

Saturday May 1
Glenelg 15.10 (100)
North Adelaide 10.9 (69)
Prospect Oval

West Adelaide 13.7 (85)
Central District 8.13 (61)
Hisense Stadium, Richmond

Sunday May 2
Sturt 12.12 (84)
Adelaide 13.5 (83)
2,339 @ Unley Oval

Port Adelaide 16.11 (107)
Woodville-West Torrens 7.5 (47)
1,927 @ Alberton Oval

South -- Elsworthy (hamstring)
North -- Simon (hamstring)
Sturt -- Grivell (knee), Fahey-Sparks (hamstring)
Port -- Rockliff (knee)
W-WT -- Schmusch (arm)

None known at time of post.

Glenelg -- 10pts (5-0-0), 57.5%
South -- 8pts (4-1-0), 58.5%
W-WT -- 6pts (3-2-0), 52.7%
Norwood -- 6pts (3-2-0), 47%
Port -- 4pts (2-3-0), 50.9%

West -- 4pts (2-3-0), 48.3%
Sturt -- 4pts (2-3-0), 46%
Adelaide -- 4pts (2-3-0), 43.4%
North -- 2pts (1-4-0), 52.5%
Central -- 2pts (1-4-0), 44%

Next weekend in Round 6...

Saturday May 8
Woodville-West Torrens vs. South Adelaide; Maughan Thiem Kia Oval, Woodville @ 2:10pm
Central District vs. Norwood; X-Convenience Oval, Elizabeth @ 3:05pm
Port Adelaide vs. Adelaide; Adelaide Oval @ 3:35pm

Sunday May 9 @ 2:10pm
North Adelaide vs. West Adelaide; Prospect Oval
Glenelg vs. Sturt; ACH Group Stadium, Glenelg

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

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