SANFL VS WAFL 2018 -- State Match Wrap-Up

Discussion in 'SANFL Board' started by raboyle, May 14, 2018.

Put it out there
  1. raboyle

    raboyle Norm Smith Medallist

    Other teams:
    Central District (SANFL)
    May 01
    My Money House Oval, Elizabeth
    Hi Footy fans...

    For years the South Australian National Football League reigned supreme above all other state leagues. After the advent of the Australian Football League and the eventual demise of representative football at the highest level, the SANFL was considered the best domestic footballing competition. It kept the general football public's interest at levels far and above that of its nearest rivals in Victoria and Western Australia, as well as keeping a standard of football that saw it go a decade with only a single blemish on the representative front. But in the last three years a real challenge has been issued for the title of champion of the leagues and the battle over the Haydn Bunton Junior Trophy has reached a new level. This is State Football.

    Welcome to this special edition of the Wrap-Up... the SANFL against the WAFL.

    Haydn Bunton Junior. Born in Victoria, but built his legend in South Australia and Western Australia. In his youth he found himself at North Adelaide for three seasons from 1954 to 1956, then transferred to Norwood for the following three years where ironically, he would lose out to his old side in the 1960 Grand Final. The following year he would finally have his premiership moment, crossing to border to Swan Districts where he took them to the first of three flags as captain-coach from 1961 to 1963. He hopped between Adelaide and Perth between 1965 and 1994, returning to The Parade for three years from '65-67 and then back to the Lions for from '68 up to 1970 where he finished his playing days. He continued at Subiaco as coach up to 1972 and although not in the position in 1973, their premiership of that year was largely attributed to Bunton's influence. He returned to coaching in 1975 up to 1982 with South Adelaide, taking them to the 1979 decider where they lost to Port Adelaide. He would then go back to the Lions in 1984 and eventually brought them the 1986 and 1988 premierships. Another stint in SA with Sturt for the 1993 and 1994 seasons would bring his time in senior football to a close. Add in a Sandover Medal, a Roosters' B&F medal, Team of the Century honours for both the Swans and Lions, Hall of Fame memberships in both states as well as the AFL and 22 state games divided equally between SA and WA... there's the reason why the cup is named after him.

    For the first few years after the advent of the Crows, the SANFL took a bit of a beating from the WAFL. It was a reversal of roles seeing as the same effect was had by WA during the Eagles' formative years. In fact, it was Barry Cable that said it when he was WA's coach in 1991, that it would take some time for SA to adapt. The SANFL took just one win from three outings against the Sandgropers, a six-point win in 1992 sandwiched in between losses in 1991, 1993 and 1994. Then there was the loss to Tasmania in 1995. Then in 1996, the Croweaters landed in Perth on a mission and inflicted a 65-point hammering on the Western Australians. From there up to 2014, South Australia would put down the challenge of not just the WAFL, but of Victoria, the ACT and a combined Queensland/Northern Territory side from the NEAFL. A massive loss in 2002 to the VFL and a narrow defeat to WA in 2009 were the only interruptions to the impressive run. Why am I talking just up to 2014? We'll get to that soon enough, but needless to say, for years the SANFL had run roughshod over the rest.

    The Western Australians' run in State League football during the same period was far less fruitful. After their three wins from four games against SA from 1991 to 1994, they travelled to Brisbane for a 33-point win against Queensland but then crashed to three straight defeats against SA (1996 & 1998) and Tasmania (1997). They got revenge on the Devils in 1999 in Kalgoorlie, but would again go down to the Croweaters in Adelaide the following year. More losses to SA in 2003 & 2006 and Victoria in 2004 & 2007 put the heat on the WAFL to respond, despite wins against QLD in 2005 & 2008. A short-lived revival of the Black Swans came in 2009, the SANFL paying dearly for sending over what many considered to be a "B-squad". The WAFL took the Bunton Cup for the first time in 15 years at Leederville Oval by the narrowest of gaps in football. They were brought back down to earth with a thud by the Big V the following year on the same ground, then after a one-goal victory over QLD/NT in Mandurah, SA would again seize the cup at Glenelg in 2012. Now we come to the true revival of the WAFL as a force. It begun with a high-scoring 17-point win against Victoria in regional WA in 2013, then hammering a combined NEAFL side in Sydney in 2014. Their biggest achievement was when they regained control of the Bunton cup at Lathlain Park in 2015, handing the Croweaters a 45-point back-hander. After SA downed the Vics in 2016, WA would do the same in Melbourne last year, signalling that perhaps a new power was emerging.

    The WAFL at this point was ahead by one win on the all time ledger of 93 games and with a streak of four wins from the last four years had all the pressure on them to take their first victory on SA soil for almost a quarter of a century. Not that the SANFL didn't have any on them as well, they were still smarting from their hiding in Perth three years ago. Leading from the front for the Croweaters once again was Sturt's dual premiership captain Zane Kirkwood, with other notable inclusions such as fellow Blue Sam Colquhoun and West Adelaide's Jonathon Beech, plus state debutants such as Central District's tall timber Darcy Fort and Woodville-West Torrens' Jake Johansen. In the Sandgropers camp, there were some familiar faces. Former Port Adelaide player Kane Mitchell returned to his old Claremont stomping ground this season, earning another shot at SA after a showing in 2012. West Perth veteran Andrew Strijk was in for his seventh appearance in the black & gold, Subiaco captain Kyal Horsley was named skipper and then there was South Fremantle big unit Brock Higgins and Swan District's Corey Gault bagging their first WA jumpers. In the coaches corner, Sturt premiership coach Martin Mattner took over the SA helm from Graham Cornes, while former Claremont coach Michael Broadbridge's success against the VFL saw his re-appointment to the WA panel.

    This time the match was, to the chagrin of many SA footy-heads, held on Adelaide Oval as a pre-cursor to the Port-hosted Showdown against the Crows. Despite around a few thousand fronting up at the game's start it was only for prime general admission seating with perhaps a handful of that coming out to support the SANFL side. South Australia seemed to have less of the ball in the early proceedings, but the northern end proved to be a goal-kicker's dead zone in the opening quarter which rendered WA's early forays useless. The Croweaters ran out to a 22-point lead, Sturt's Aidan Riley kicking the first at 18 minutes to post a quarter-time scorecard of 4.2 to four behinds. Unfortunately for the Croweaters, the northern end curse would bite them in the second term as they managed only four behinds while the Sandgropers hit their stride and ran rampant. South Freo's Blaine Johnson began the WA avalanche, scoring their first major within a minute of the restart. That was one of eight goals from 10 scores, with contributions by Subiaco's Rhys Waters and Claremont's Jye Bolton. At half-time, the Sandgropers were up by four goals.

    The West Australians ran around in packs, were putting tremendous pressure on the body and along with a lot of South Australian indecision and overuse of handball, got a lot of possessions and made the most of every opportunity. It was almost like watching 2015 all over again. The Croweaters kicked themselves back into the match when play resumed and there must have been a stern talking to Mattner as they were a little late returning to the field. The Croweaters were handed the first goal of the second half thanks to a 50-metre penalty to the Bloods' Kaine Stevens, the first of five goals for the term. Glenelg's Josh Scott was one of the scorers, as was Redleg Matt Panos as well as Central's Justin Hoskin who was making his first SA appearance. Gault and Subiaco's Brad Stevenson saved WA from going behind come three quarter-time, the visitors up 10.9 to 9.7. The Croweaters kept challenging in the final term, but more indecision in mid-field would prove costly in the end. Scott and Hoskin's goals were SA's last for the game, cancelled out by majors to Waters and East Fremantle's Rhys Palmer by the 14th minute. Andrew Strijk helped finished the Croweaters off, the Sandgropers making off with the Haydn Bunton Cup with a 26-point victory. The SANFL's reputation as the strongest state league has taken a massive hit as a result, the WAFL's win going a long way to establishing them as the new power of second tier football.


    Saturday May 12

    Western Australia 15.12 (102)
    South Australia 11.10 (76)
    Adelaide Oval

    For the victors, it was Jye Bolton of the Claremont Tigers who would bag his second Simpson Medal. He finished with 34 possessions, six marks and a goal for his afternoon at the Oval. His first medal came against Tasmania in 2016, a year where he also won the Sandover Medal. For the vanquished, it was a third Fos Williams Medal for Sturt's Zane Kirkwood to go with his 2014 and 2016 honours, those same years also yielded Magarey Medals and the 2016 premiership. He finished with 36 disposals and eight tackles.

    Next weekend in your state...

    Saturday May 19 @ 2:10pm

    North Adelaide vs. South Adelaide; Prospect Oval
    Glenelg vs. Adelaide; Gliderol Stadium, Glenelg
    Woodville-West Torrens vs. Norwood; Maughan Thiem Hyundai Oval, Woodville
    Central District vs. Sturt; My Money House Oval, Elizabeth

    Sunday May 20 @ 2:10pm
    Port Adelaide vs. West Adelaide; Alberton Oval

    Saturday May 19

    Peel Thunder vs. Subiaco; Bendigo Bank Stadium, Mandurah @ 2:10pm
    East Perth vs. South Fremantle; Leederville Oval @ 2:15pm
    West Perth vs. East Fremantle; Arena Joondalup @ 2:15pm
    Claremont vs. Perth; Claremont Oval @ 2:15pm
    Swan Districts BYE

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

    P.S. For the WA footy-heads... until next year.
    chazwazza and VicPark Bitter like this.

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  2. chazwazza

    chazwazza Norm Smith Medallist

    Other teams:
    Sturt Football Club
    Aug 12
    Very disappointing loss, our forward line leaked like a sieve and they got some very clean ball deep inside their F50. Our kicking was atrocious.
  3. Adelaide Hawk

    Adelaide Hawk Hall of Famer

    Other teams:
    Sep 02
    One thing you didn't mention was he didn't play for Norwood in 1957 (awaiting a clearance) and 1959 where he went to Launceston but played only 1 game because of a knee injury after a motor vehicle accident.
  4. Jascave

    Jascave Premiership Player

    Other teams:
    Hampton Rovers
    Jun 05
    Surely the AFL should look at starting up a State League Challenge featuring all states and territories?

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    deltablues and chazwazza like this.
  5. madmug

    madmug Brownlow Medallist

    Other teams:
    Mar 09
    The AFL bosses have now finished their 'tough' negotiations with the Vic government & bedded in the AFL GF for Melbourne for 50 years. So now they are busy working out their annual bonus payments, organising tickets for the NFL superbowl, working on AFLX, something something about touching umpires & their holiday schedules for next year.

    Whats football got to do with them? As if they'd give a stuff anyway.
    chazwazza likes this.