North Adelaide proved it is the real deal in 2018 after outlasting Woodville-West Torrens by nine points at Maughan Thiem Hyundai Oval on Sunday.
Winning their fourth game in a row for the first time in 12 years, the Roosters earned their first victory at Woodville since 2011 after going toe-to-toe with the Macca’s League pacesetter.
After losing their Round 1 contest to Central by 10 goals, North has responded in eye-catching fashion to bank wins against West Adelaide, Sturt, Norwood and now the Eagles, in what was just their fourth triumph at Oval Avenue in 27 meetings since 1991.
Josh Carr’s charges – led admirably by captain Max Thring who had 34 touches and three goals – responded to everything the Eagles threw at them, with the game having as many as eight lead changes.
To add extra spice to the victory, North’s 21 had four former Eagles in the line-up including star left-footer Jarred Allmond who racked up 30 disposals and 10 marks from his wing in his first clash against his old side.
The quartet – which also included Matt McDonough, Tom Schwarz and Matt Appleton – each surpassed 20 disposals, with former Richmond utility McDonough booting North’s first two goals of the game with long range bombs outside 50m.
BankSA Rookie Connor Rozee was impressive in his Macca’s League debut for the Roosters, looking at home with the speed of the game while kicking two goals – the second of which coming at a critical stage of the match.
With his team leading by just two points 12 minutes into the final term, the teenager slotted through a set shot from 35m out to give his team an eight-point buffer while sparking a defining run of three goals in succession.
As they always do, the Eagles came back hard despite trailing by 21 points 18 minutes into the last term, booting the next two goals – to Nick Hayes and Chris Hall – before the final siren sounded.
It certainly won’t be panic stations for the hosts, who lost most of the major stat categories yet had just 10 fewer inside 50s and lost by less than two goals.
Port recruit Louis Sharrad had his best game for his new club with 23 disposals while Ethan Haylock lifted his usual output to have 18 touches and two goals.
Key Eagles forward Jack Hayes produced another strong performance to tally 18 disposals, eight marks and three goals, which helped keep the scoreboard ticking over while fellow forward Jack Lukosius found himself in defence kicking the ball in after behinds.
NORTH 3.1 5.3 9.3 14.7 (91)
EAGLES 3.0 4.0 9.3 13.4 (82)
LEADING DISPOSALS – North: Thring 34, Allmond, Castree 30, T. Schwarz, Tropiano 27, A. Barns 23, Clisby, Appleton 22.
Eagles: Poole 24, Sharrad, Johansen 23, Boyd, Thompson 20, Haylock, Firns J. Hayes 18.
GOALS – North: Thring 3, McDonough, Rozee, A. Barns, Hender 2, Wilkie, Spina, Tropiano.
Eagles: J. Hayes 3, Von Bertouch, Borholm, Haylock 2, Hall, N. Hayes, Johansen, Redden.
CHIEF SANFL WRITER