16/04/2024
Eagles' forward Tyson Stengle lays a strong tackle.

The Eagles advanced through the SANFL finals with a narrow win over Norwood. (Photo: SANFL)

South Adelaide emphatically dismantled North Adelaide and the Eagles beat Norwood to book a place in next weeks second semi final against Glenelg.

Woodville-West Torrens survive tight tussle and keep double chance

The Eagles survived a tight second half, and a contest which saw the margin reach a maximum of just 12 at any point, to beat Norwood by seven points.

In a clash which heralded 179 tackles, the Redlegs – despite losing – proved they’ve got what it takes in 2021, but wasted opportunities in front of goal late in the game.

James Tsitas set the tone early for the Eagles, slotting through the first goal from deep in the pocket, backed up minutes later by a Kobe Mutch set shot.

Norwood got itself on the scoreboard thanks to a Xavier Tranfa left-footed snap under pressure 15 metres out in just his 13th game of league footy.

The Redlegs hit the front for the first time in the afternoon early in the second, only to be cancelled out by a spectacular Stengle running goal.

Eagles coach Jade Sheedy spoke post match about the importance of being able to weather a challenge like that in a finals contest.

“It keeps our double chance alive and gives us two opportunities to play in a grand final but more importantly it gives us a look at Glenelg next week on a big stage on a Saturday night,” he said.

“I thought Norwood threw a fair bit at us today, they went one on one, wanted to play a certain type of footy.

“For us to be able to adapt and win that game of footy, was first class by our boys.”

The Eagles took back the lead through another Dan Menzel goal before former Adelaide Crow Richard Douglas kicked the last of the quarter as the two sides went into half time tied up.

The third quarter started with a Stengle-born bang, as the livewire forward kicked two goals in the first six minutes to open up a 12-point advantage as the clouds came over Adelaide Oval.

“Tyson is a rare player – he’s too good for this level,” Sheedy said.

“He doesn’t need much time and space to do damage and you’ve got to understand, a lot of oppositions put time into him, hang onto him and he still manages to get away.”

As the game wore on the scoring dried up until two came in two minutes, one at one end from Joe Sinor, followed by a long-range kick from Henry Nelligan.

The final quarter saw both sides waste multiple opportunities to clinch the game, with a Stengle point after a disastrous Norwood kick out enough to seal the deal and see the Eagles out as seven point winners.

Norwood mentor Jade Rawlings lauded the way the game was played and commented on how the “endeavour and intensity” was there from both sides.

“I thought we just got beaten by the better team on the day,” he said.

“I thought with the immediate ball – in close – they were a bit cleaner and stronger, and we were probably the better team on the outside winning the loose ball.

“They were able to kick goals at key moments and we didn’t.”

The result means that Norwood will play South Adelaide in the first semi-final next week while the Eagles will do battle with the minor premiers Glenelg for a spot in the Grand Final two weeks later.

“It’s a six day turn around, we’ll now focus pretty quickly on Glenelg and what looks like and do our homework on them,” Sheedy said.

“They’ve clearly been the best side all year – they finished 17-1 for a reason – we’ll look forward to the challenge.”

Eagles 3.3 5.5 7.5 8.9 (57)

Norwood 3.2 5.5 6.5 7.8 (50)

GOALS: Eagles: Tyson Stengle 3, Dan Menzel 2, Kobe Mutch, James Tsitas, Joe Sinor.
Norwood: Xavier Tranfa 2, Cole Gerloff, Lachlan Pascoe, Richard Douglas, Matthew Nunn, Henry Nelligan.

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South sail through on back of second quarter blitz

South Adelaide has booked a place in the second week of the 2021 SANFL finals series with a 42-point elimination final win over North Adelaide, set up by a nine goal first half.

It was just the third time this season that the Panthers had reached 100 points or more, and sees veteran Joel Cross’ premiership hopes live on for at least another week.

It took 15 and a half minutes for an opening quarter stalemate to be broken, with South Adelaide’s Liam Fitt nailing the first goal from 55 metres out.

The Panthers got their second ten minutes later as Joel Cross and then Fitt once more turned what was a scrappy affair early, into a healthy 23-point quarter-time lead.

With the wind now behind its back, North Adelaide started the second quarter with a Sam McInerney major.

Ben Jarman then got on the end of a ball over the top, before kicking along the ground for 50 metres and squeezing through the second in a row.

Despite all their good work early in the quarter, Nic Schwarz and Fraser Turner turned the tide in favour of South Adelaide yet again, kicking crucial goals.

They kept going too, kicking five unanswered goals and opening up a 40-point lead at half time, seemingly turning the tables on the side who beat them by 58-points a month ago.

Hayden Sampson had 16 possessions to half time, while teammate Mitch O’Neill had been instrumental with six clearances in the first half.

Aaron Young kicked the first goal for the third quarter and when Dyson Hilder got another soon after, North Adelaide looked set for a comeback.

The tempo had picked up and both sides were going inside 50 with relative ease.

But despite leading the inside 50 count for the quarter 23-4, and clearances 12-2, the Roosters squandered opportunities in front of goal.

And while Kaine Mercovich started the last quarter perfectly for the rampant Roosters, some ill-disciplined acts at the other end saw three quick goals go the Panthers way.

It was all over when Fitt scored his fourth for the day smothering a Roosters kick out, a play that summed up their day.

North Adelaide 0.1 2.5 6.9 8.10 (58)

South Adelaide 3.5 8.9 10.9 15.11 (100)

GOALS: North Adelaide: Sam McInerney 2, Ben Jarman 2, Dyson Hilder, Aaron Young, Kaine Mercovich, Will Combe.
South Adelaide: Liam Fitt 4, Alex Cailotto 3, Joel Cross 2, Eamonn Wilkinson 2, Nic Schwarz, Fraser Turner, Anthony Biemans, Daniel Nobes.

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