Sturt won their second in a row, the Crows tall forwards stood up, North Adelaide jumped into the top five, Norwood was secure against the Dogs and Glenelg extended their winning run to 11-in-a-row.
Catch up with all the SANFL round 12 action – including The Inner Sanctum’s match of the round Sturt vs South Adelaide – right here.
Double Blues out on top in the wind and the rain
A much-improved Sturt outfit withstood the elements and a fierce onslaught from an inaccurate South Adelaide to win by 11 points at Unley Oval in two-time premiership player Mark Evans final SANFL game.
It was an ugly slog across the four quarters with both sides – but in particular the Panthers – wasting opportunities in front of goal.
The first half ended with all 36 players on the ground involving themselves in a melee following a late hit by Sturt’s Lachlan Burrows after the siren on an opponent.
The second half was tight with just five goals kicked, but it was the visitors who threatened the boil over in front of the Unley faithful throughout the last quarter.
It wasn’t until Charlie Parker ran down Jason Horne on the grandstand side wing did the home fans get a true sense of the upset victory to come.
It was moments after this that Parker let a long kick from the middle of the ground fly deep into attack where Abe Davis took a mark and kicked the goal to seal it.
Sturt coach Marty Mattner spoke about how impressed he was with his side’s “really good” tall forwards and bigger midfielders throughout the game.
“We’ve played Abe (Davis) in the midfield a bit the last couple of weeks just to help out (James) Battersby since we’ve lost McEntee inside.
“So I guess those guys with bigger bodies around the contest really helped today.
“I think Burrows is really starting to play some good football at the moment, forward, ruck, but he’s also pretty mobile and gets around the ground with his pressure and tackling.”
South Adelaide coach Jarrad Wright commented on the “even” nature of the contest but said that Sturt was “simply too good on the day”.
“It was a game where it was pretty combative and contested and it was going to be a game of moments,” he said.
“They took their chances, we didn’t, they were too good for us.”
With that now being two games in a row that they’ve fallen short, he’s well aware of what needs to be fully understood by the group and improved on.
“We were in the game, so it’ll be some minor tweaks, finishing off in front of goal, making some poor decisions throughout our back half which is giving our opposition some easy goals,” he said.
“And that’s been consistently happening now probably for the past six or seven weeks which is why we’re probably about fourth or fifth with percentage but we’re still sitting equal second on the ladder.
“We’re just not quite getting the balance between offence and defence right and we have to get back this week and see what our best mix is.”
Mattner brushed off talks of finals football for the Double Blues this year but recognizes the key matter of developing his side for the future.
“Its probably more about the development,” he said.
“I think we’re a long way from being a really competitive team at the moment, I thought we were good today but we’ve still got a long way to go.
“Anything can happen in the second half of the year and we’ve won two in a row now, we can get some momentum, but I think it’s still about believing we can be competitive and win.”
Sturt 3.0 6.3 7.5 8.7 (55)
South Adelaide 2.4 2.9 4.10 5.14 (44)
Sturt: Davis, Lewis, Page, Burrows, Voss, Patullo, Parker.
South Adelaide: O’Neill, Broadbent, Wilkinson, Haines.
Sturt: Davis 3, Trenorden 2, Patullo, Evans, Fahey-Sparks.
South Adelaide: McCreery, Tucker, O’Neill, Overall, Wilkinson.
Roosters climb into top five with demolition of Magpies
North Adelaide made their claim for a second half of the season finals push with a 76-point win over Port Adelaide at home on Saturday.
The Magpies were in the match at quarter-time but were thoroughly undone thereafter, kicking three goals for the rest of the day compared to the Roosters’ 14.
The home side dominated possession, clearances (49-26), the inside 50s (55-34), and finished the game with twelve different goal kickers.
Sam Mayes was taken out of the Magpies side at halftime to be available as the medical sub that evening for the Power, but his teammate Riley Bonner had a day out, finishing with 34 possessions.
Harrison Wigg had 30 touches for the home side, whilst Keenan Ramsey kicked three goals and took 12 marks.
North Adelaide 4.1 10.5 15.9 18.12 (120)
Port Adelaide 3.4 4.5 4.6 6.8 (44)
North Adelaide: Ramsey 3, Hender 2, Hilder 2, Mercovich 2, Wigg 2, Combe, Fahey, Minervini, Schwarz, Smith, A. Young, R. Young.
Port Adelaide: Moore 2, Edwards, Ladhams, Lord, Wildman.
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Norwood building into the second half of the season
Norwood is building a strong case as a premiership threat in season 2021, following a strong 30-point win over Central District in wintry conditions at Cooper’s Stadium on Saturday.
After a lean few weeks last month, two wins in a row now has the Eastern suburbs side equal second and with weapons across the ground at their disposal.
They got off to a great start kicking five goals to nil but faltered in the third quarter, failing to register a major.
However Central District were unable to capitalise, wasting opportunities and kicking just one goal for the quarter.
It was much the same in the last quarter, however the Redlegs extended their lead through two goals to Cam Shenton.
Harry Boyd was instrumental in the ruck for the home side, registering 47 hit outs in a dominant display, but his life was made easier with the likes of Mitch Grigg (20 possessions, eight tackles, and eight clearances) and Declan Hamilton (20) at his feet.
Travis Schiller was best for the visitors with 24 possessions, eight tackles and 8 clearances.
The result means that the Dogs sit in ninth position having won just three games, with a percentage greater than the Crows in eighth.
Norwood 5.2 8.4 8.6 10.12 (72)
Central District 0.1 4.3 5.7 5.12 (42)
Norwood: Shenton 2, Tranfa 2, Binder, Grigg, Hamilton, Nelligan, Pascoe, Puopolo.
Central District: Barreau, East, Gillard, Grace, Olsson.
Frampton, Himmelberg the keys to Crows goals
The Adelaide Crows made light work of West Adelaide on Saturday, kicking five goals in a strong opening quarter and running out 36-point winners.
The win was off the back of a potent forward line featuring Billy Frampton (three goals) and Elliot Himmelberg (two) operating smoothly, as all they combined for fourteen goals.
The AFL reserves side did let the Bloods back into the contest in the second half, as nine goals were kicked in the third quarter alone.
But a four-goal to three last quarter was enough for Michael Godden and his men to see off their challenges.
Oliver Davis was the standout for the visitors, picking up 25 possessions and six tackles, whilst Elliot Dunkin had a day out for the home side, finishing with 35 possessions.
The result sees the Crows one game out of the top five, but with a low percentage whilst West Adelaide languish at the bottom of the ladder having won just two games.
West Adelaide 0.0 1.2 6.3 9.4 (58)
Adelaide 5.3 7.5 10.7 14.10 (94)
West Adelaide: Gore 2, Keough 2, Beech, Ellem, Fairlie, Lovell, Stevens.
Adelaide: Frampton 3, Boyle 2, Gollant 2, Himmelberg 2, Baccanello, Cook, Newchurch, Pedlar, Strachan.
The roar at the top of the table is only getting louder
Glenelg has extended their lead atop the SANFL ladder with a hard-fought win over second-placed Woodville-West Torrens away on Sunday.
Whilst doing so, they extended their winning streak to eleven, a feat only done once before in their 100-year SANFL history.
The encounter was contested right from the start with neither side gaining complete ascendancy at any stage, rather they traded blows and exchanged the lead.
The Eagles led into the final quarter off the back of strong work around the ball from Joe Sinor and Jimmy Toumpas.
But the Tigers proved yet again why they’re the stand-out team in 2021, getting possession first and then methodically working it up to a forward line which is as potent as ever, kicking five goals in the last quarter.
Liam McBean had a strong day, kicking three goals for the Bays, whilst his teammate Matthew Snook picked up 28 touches.
James Tsitas was good for the Eagles, finishing with 34 disposals whilst Toumpas had 26.
Eagles 2.3 4.7 6.8 8.8 (56)
Glenelg 3.2 3.4 6.7 11.9 (75)
Eagles: Firns, Hayes, Knight, Menzel, Mutch, Sinor, Stengle, Williams.
Glenelg: McBean 3, Bailey 2, Motlop 2, Reynolds 2, Bradley, Kuller.