SANFL Round 2 Double Header
Saturday July 4th, Adelaide Oval
Match Reviews by Sarah List
Match 1: Eagles 14.12.96 d Sturt 6.9.45
This pair had mixed 2019 seasons, and their fortunes in Round 1 2020 saw the Double Blues start with a win and the Eagles miss out on a narrow loss, leaving Sturt with a slight psychological advantage for this match. The opening quarter saw the Eagles open well, recording two goals in the first eight minutes of the game before the Blues found their feet and the teams exchanged scores 1:1 until the end of the first quarter. The Eagles in front by just five points at the first break.
The Second quarter continued much the same after a quick goal by each side, with no team able to break free from the centre, with both turning over possession and overhandling the ball for a 10 minute period. It felt like it would go the way of the Double Blues, but inaccurate kicking in front of goal and a major from the Eagles had the match neck and neck with just 4 points in it at half time to Sturt.
The second half saw a real change in the feel of the match, and suddenly the Eagles found purpose and a directness to their game that swamped a shocked Sturt. Piling on 4.6 to solitary point, the Eagles had the Blues running in circles and forcing errors that were turned over and punished mercilessly. Sturt made it look like hard work to get the ball to their forward 50, only to have the Eagles demoralisingly pick it up and run away with another score. Twenty five points to the Eagles at the final break was looking unassailable unless Sturt could up their match play substantially.
The fourth proved to be an extension of the third quarter, with the Eagles scoring another major within the first 90 seconds to smash the confidence in any comeback by Sturt. A five goal to one quarter to the Eagles was a demonstration of dominance and superior match fitness – the latter of which Sturt need desperately to work on if they are to challenge any of the top teams for a full four quarters. In the end it was a crushing win to the Eagles by 51 points, with six Eagles sharing the goals.
Match 2: North Adelaide 9.9.63 d Norwood 8.13.61
Touted as the match of the round, the Redlegs and Roosters clash promised to be a bitter fight after growing their intense rivalry over the past two seasons. North were coming in fresh from a drubbing of West Adelaide, and Norwood were hoping to turnaround their fortunes after a very close loss to reigning premiers, Glenelg. The Legs dominated the possessions in the opening quarter and kicked the first major, but time after time their accuracy at goal let them down and they added five behinds to their two goal tally. They were 16 points up at quarter time, but Norwood’s gameplay was not exuding the quality of the previous week, and the faithful were jitterish.
The second quarter opened with a steadying major for the red and blue, but from then onwards it was really North’s quarter, piling on five goals to two. What began as a respectable lead for the Legs, turned into a two point deficit as the Roosters were simply more efficient with their passing and connected with teammates with seeming ease. Szekely had the Legs nervous every time he had the ball in front of goal, and more often than not, converted those kicks into majors. Norwood had some major work cut out for them in the second half if they were going to be able to stay in touch.
It was a much more even contest in the third, with the pressure from the Legs forcing errors from North. In a seesawing affair, the teams traded the lead for the first six minutes before the Roosters settled in to resist any attempts by the Legs to break even or move ahead, closing out with and eight point advantage.
The final was bitterly fought out both on and off the field. Supporters called for free kicks and bemoaning decisions against them by the umpires, as the time and energy of both sides wound down. Norwood used the advantage of the umpiring decisions to steady with a couple of early goals and suddenly they were in the lead by five points. A goal by the dangerous Lebois levelled the teams with 15 minutes passed, and the remaining 10 minutes were fought like a soccer match with just two desperate behinds to the Roosters, which proved enough to edge them over the line. Norwood were left reeling after their second straight loss by a tiny margin, and now languish on the bottom of the table. Their passing accuracy and effective use of the ball needs to improve drastically if they do not want to suffer more heart-breaking losses such as this, and with a shortened season there’s no time to waste. A well-deserved win to the Roosters.
Round 3 returns to the suburban grounds. Remember – if you can’t make it to the matches, you can purchase an SANFL Digital Pass to see all the action of every match, wherever you may be and whatever time you are able to catch up.
Saturday July 11
Central District v South Adelaide (X Convenience Oval) – 11.45am on Channel 7
Glenelg v North Adelaide (ACH Group Stadium) – 2.10pm on SANFL Digital Pass
Sunday July 12
Woodville-West Torrens v Norwood (Maughan Thiem Kia Oval) – 2.10pm on SANFL Digital Pass
Sturt v West Adelaide (Peter Motley Oval) – 2.10pm on SANFL Digital Pass