A Matt Crouch-inspired Adelaide showed why it will be a genuine threat this year with a convincing 74-point win against a lacklustre Glenelg at ACH Group Stadium.
Leapfrogging the Tigers into second place on the ladder, the Crows did as they pleased in producing an entertaining brand of football with little resistance from the hosts.
Prolific Crows midfielder Matt Crouch was outstanding with 41 disposals, 11 clearances and two goals to send another message to AFL coach Matthew Nicks as his side led comfortably at every change.
Recording a devastating inside 50m advantage of 59 to 37 and clearance advantage of 42 to 32, Adelaide registered its largest winning margin as 11 players landed on the goal kickers list.
Rangy forward Lachlan Gollant and captain Matthew Wright kicked three goals each for the visitors while former Tiger Brett Turner collected 22 possessions in his return from a foot injury against his old side.
Veteran Crow Chris Hall picked up 23 disposals in his 199th SANFL League game while ruckman Kieran Strachan continues to show he’s a class above State League level with 22 disposals, six marks, five clearances, 41 hit outs and a goal.
Consistent Tigers Darcy Bailey (34 disposals) and Matthew Snook (27 disposals, eight clearances) were among a handful from their team to provide any influence.
The Bays’ major positive from the forgettable afternoon was the performance of wing Cooper Horsnell, who played four strong quarters of footy against an AFL-listed team to finish with 26 disposals and eight marks.
North Adelaide rewrote the history books with a record-breaking 126-point win against Port Adelaide at Prospect Oval.
Now the undisputed premiership favourites to win the 2022 Hostplus SANFL League flag, the Roosters gave their vocal fans a treat by keeping the Magpies’ to a record-low score against them of 1.4 (10).
As North draftee Hugh Jackson kicked the visitors’ only goal for the afternoon in the third term, Port’s final tally was its lowest score in any SANFL League game since kicking 1.2 (8) in Round 9 of 1900.
Port’s previous worst score against North was 1.1 (7) in Round 1 of 1900 while North surpassed its previous largest winning margin against the Magpies of 83 points in Round 6 of 1971.
In-form Aaron Young was restricted to 23 disposals and a goal but it didn’t matter for North as Andrew Moore played his best game for the season with 36 disposals, 13 marks and two goals.
Troubled by calf complaints this season, the former Power midfielder’s form would have delighted coach Jacob Surjan, who had 11 players register a goal.
Magarey Medallist Campbell Combe tallied 32 disposals and Harrison Wigg 31 as they lent excellent support to Moore while former Magpie Cameron Hewett had 28 disposals and 11 marks.
Roosters defenders Cameron Craig and Alex Spina (29 disposals and 18 marks each) feasted on anything headed their way while Franky Szekely ignited the red-and-white faithful with two memorable goals to celebrate Indigenous Round.
Port skipper Cam Sutcliffe battled hard in curbing the dangerous Young while also tallying 27 disposals while former Rooster Sam Mayes collected 26 disposals, eight tackles and six clearances.
Magpies goalsneak Dylan Williams finished with 25 disposals and five marks playing a new role rebounding from defence.
Travis Schiller wrote himself a fairytale script for his 150th Hostplus SANFL League game as Central District pinched a one-point win from South Adelaide at X Convenience Oval.
With his Bulldogs seemingly down for the count trailing by six points deep into time-on of the final term, Schiller positioned himself perfectly to crumb a loose ball and snap truly from 20m out.
The tenacious Bulldog brought the Elizabeth faithful to its feet after tying up the scores with less than a minute to play.
With the ball back in the centre square, Central ruck Fraser Fort managed to kick clear of the centre circle where teammate Ethan East gathered his own dropped mark to handball out to a fleet-footed Kyle Presbury.
Presbury took a shot at full speed from long range, the ball flying wide but over the behind line to put his side in front.
By the time South defender Joey Haines went to kick the ball back into play, the siren sounded much to the delight of the Dogs.
Just as it was fitting Schiller tied up the scores, it was fitting Presbury put his side in front after a best afield display which yielded 30 disposals and five marks.
Travis Schiller finished with 24 disposals, five tackles, five clearances and his memorable goal while brother Jarrod had 21 disposals, seven tackles and seven clearances.
Heart-broken South Adelaide was well-served by Indigenous star Hayden Sampson who celebrated the Round with an eye-catching 27 disposals and three goals.
Haines had 27 possessions in defence while experienced backman Jake Summerton was outstanding with 19 disposals and eight marks while keeping rival Aiden Grace under control.
The Panthers were also hindered by losing key midfielders Oliver Davis and Mitch O’Neill to match-ending injuries.
Sturt earned a much-needed 40-point win by keeping West Adelaide goalless in the first half at Wigan Oval.
Having lost four of their past five going into the Round 13 clash against the Bloods, the Double Blues were back to their defensive best in not allowing the visitors to register a six-pointer until captain Tom Keough kicked truly in the ninth minute of the third term.
Keough’s major sparked a mini-revival of three goals in succession for Brad Gotch’s charges, who trimmed the margin to five goals by the final change.
But Sturt steadied in the fourth quarter by booting three of the four goals kicked, premiership goalsneak Josh Hone kicking a game-high three majors.
Double Blue Casey Voss returned to form with 27 disposals and 13 marks while reliable backman Guy Page had 24 possessions.
Unheralded Joel Thiele played his best game for the season with 21 disposals and two nice running goals while Sturt captain James Battersby and Malachy Carruthers each had 19 possessions.
West’s Patrick Fairlie racked up a game high 28 disposals, 14 tackles and 11 clearances as he battled hard against the tide while Jordon Boyle continued his form bounce back with 25 touches and 10 marks.
Bloods defender Kaiden Brand could again hold his head high in a losing team, snaring 12 marks to go with his 20 disposals.
Sign up to see all the news from around the SANFL each week – directly in your inbox!