By ZAC MILBANK
South Adelaide shot itself to the top of the Statewide Super League table with a comfortable 36-point win against Port Adelaide at Alberton on Saturday.
Aiming to back up their impressive 10-goal win against Central in the opening round, the Panthers were again impressive despite playing one man short for the majority of the match.
Key forward Sam Overall strained his groin in the opening minutes of the first term and played no further part in the contest.
This opened the door for another South forward to stand up and it was Tom Whittlesea who took his chance by the scruff of the neck with a five-goal haul.
The former Eagle also finished with 16 disposals and four marks as he teamed well inside 50m with reinvented defender Alex Cailotto, who booted two majors.
Efficient with the ball in hand, South broke the game open with a devastating patch during the third term which yielded six goals in succession within the first 13 minutes, two of which were booted by Whittlesea.
Buoyed by an even contribution, South had less of the ball yet finished with 15 more inside 50m entries as six players noted 20 disposals or more, including co-captain Joel Cross who also kicked two majors, including one long range bomb from outside 50m.
Port Adelaide did an admirable job of hanging in the contest during the first half, with the hosts losing two players to game-ending injuries in the second quarter.
New Magpies captain Cam Sutcliffe strained his hamstring and Aidyn Johnson (concussion) were unable to return after half-time which made life difficult being down two rotations amid the warm conditions.
Port midfielder Jack Trengove was again outstanding for his team surpassing the 40-disposal barrier for the second week in succession while also taking 13 marks, laying 10 tackles and having seven clearances to be best afield in a losing side.
Veteran defender Matt Broadbent took another step forward in his long-awaited AFL return to notch 28 touches across half-back while Category B Rookie Kai Pudney ran hard all day on his wing to tally 30 disposals.
The Magpies will now turn their attention to hosting North Adelaide at Alberton in Round 3 while South will look to make it three wins from as many starts against Glenelg at the Bay.
SOUTH 3.5 5.6 12.7 14.10 (94)
PORT 2.1 4.3 6.4 8.10 (58)
LEADING DISPOSALS – South: Rose 27, Cross 24, Liddle 21, Davis, Haines, Noble 20, Brown, Irra, Karpany, Sampson 18.
Port: Trengove 42, Mayes 31, Pudney 30, Broadbent 28, McKenzie 27, Frederick, Lienert 19.
GOALS – South: Whittlesea 5, Cailotto, Cross, Heaslip 2, Liddle, Noble, Schwarz.
Port: Farrell, McKenzie 2, Cox, Frampton, Hewett, Woodcock.
A match-defining third term secured North Adelaide’s first victory of the 2019 season as it engineered a 29-point win against West Adelaide at Prospect.
As the Roosters unfurled their 2018 premiership flag in front of the red and white faithful, they thrived on the pressure to ensure they wouldn’t slip further behind the competition’s pacesetters.
Starting the season with four premiership points less than any of its rivals, North desperately needed to ensure they wouldn’t effectively slip to an 0-4 win-loss record after being outplayed by the Eagles in Round 1.
And the hosts went about this in an efficient and diligent fashion as they banged on five goals to West’s solitary major in the all-important third term.
North’s fearless skipper Max Thring – who collected 29 disposals – booted the second of his three goals 22 minutes into the third stanza, opening up a 19-point buffer.
It proved decisive as the Roosters strangled the life out of the visitors in the fourth quarter after West’s Jono Beech kicked truly inside the opening three minutes.
North forwards Mitch Harvey and Lewis Hender chimed in with three goals each while triple Mail Medallist Campbell Combe showed why Roosters officials were excited to see him back in the competition when he racked up 29 disposals, nine clearances and a goal.
The loss consigned West to an 0-2 win-loss record following its loss to Port in Round 1, with star midfielder Kaine Stevens lifting his output to register 30 disposals and a goal.
Returnees Chris Schmidt and Will Snelling also tried hard to finish with 55 disposals between them but it wasn’t enough to cause an upset on foreign soil.
The Bloods will now aim to chalk up their first win of the year against Central next Saturday while North will tackle the Magpies at Alberton in Round 3.
NORTH 5.1 7.2 12.6 14.11 (95)
WEST 2.2 7.5 8.9 9.12 (66)
LEADING DISPOSALS – North: Tropiano 31, Combe, Thring 29, Clisby 27, Spina 24, Allmond, Castree 22.
West: K. Stevens 30, Schmidt 29, Noble 27, Snelling 26, Hill 22.
GOALS – North: Harvey, Hender, Thring 3, Allmond, Barns, Combe, Neade, Tropiano.
West: Noble 3, Beech 2, Middleton, K. Stevens, B. Turner, Waite.
Sturt withstood a final-term flurry from Woodville-West Torrens to register a nail-biting seven-point win at Peter Motley Oval.
With the result seemingly in hand at the final change, the Double Blues quickly saw their lead whittled away when the visitors booted four of the first five goals in the final term, including the first League major to RAA Rookie Kysaiah Pickett.
Both teams then traded blows in an enthralling goal-for-goal finish to the contest which resulted in Sturt premiership pair Aidan Riley and Jake Sutcliffe (returning from an Achilles injury) kicking consecutive goals to stretch the lead to 13 points 29 minutes into the fourth term.
Eagles midfielder James Boyd cut the lead back to seven with a goal in the 32nd minute but time ran out for the brave visitors, who piled on eight goals in the fourth term after sitting on just 3.11 at the last change.
AFL-experienced pair Sam Colquhoun and Danyle Pearce led the way on the stats sheet for Sturt with 29 touches while defender Jack Stephens registered 22 for the hosts, who were determined to atone for a lack-lustre Round 1 effort.
Former Sydney Swan Jordan Foote again showed that he will be an asset to his new team by topping the Eagles’ possession tally with 31 while veteran Scott Lewis toiled away to finish with 23 disposals and seven marks in his 200th Statewide Super League game.
The Eagles will prepare to host Adelaide in Round 3 next Saturday while Sturt will confront Norwood in a Friday-night blockbuster at The Parade.
STURT 3.4 5.9 7.10 12.12 (84)
EAGLES 1.5 2.7 3.11 11.11 (77)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Sturt: Colquhoun, Pearce 29, Battersby 25, Stephens 22, Kirkwood, Sumner 20, Harms, Riley 18.
Eagles: Foote 31, Goldsworthy 28, Lewis 23, Johansen 21, Boyd, Haylock, Poole, J. Redden, Sinor 20.
GOALS – Sturt: J. Hone 3, Crocker, Riley, Sutcliffe 2, Hansen, Patullo, Read.
Eagles: J. Hayes 3, J. Redden, Von Bertouch 2, Boyd, Johansen, Pickett, Rowe.
Norwood survived a late fightback from Central District to cling on for a three-point win at X Convenience Oval.
Establishing a commanding 41-point lead at three-quarter time, the Redlegs let their guard down in the final term to concede seven goals to a desperate Bulldogs outfit.
After looking dangerous early in the contest with two first term goals – including one from outside 50m – Central’s Murry Stephenson started the ball rolling with his third just 54 seconds into the fourth stanza.
The hosts then booted the next four goals in a row to cut the margin to just nine points nearly 17 minutes in after Justin Hoskin nailed his second.
Norwood’s Peter Bampton stretched the margin back out to 14 points when he kicked truly less then 60 seconds from time-on as the visitors appeared to have the premiership points in the bank.
But the Dogs weren’t done yet.
Nick Gillard and Kyle Presbury kicked consecutive majors for Central to bring it within just four points of last year’s runner-up, 29 minutes into the fourth quarter.
Then swingman Stephenson had a chance to put his side in front when he edged his opponent under the ball, gathered, side-stepped and snapped from 40m only to see his shot sail just to the left of the goal face.
The pain was evident for the Bulldogs as the siren sounded just five seconds later before Norwood had an opportunity to kick the ball back into play.
Central had an even spread of contributors as it fell to an 0-2 win-loss record to start the season, with the Schiller brothers Jarrod and Travis having 53 disposals between them while Kyle Presbury (27) and Hoskin (25 and two goals) also played well.
Norwood’s Lewis Johnston nearly nudged 40 disposals for the second week in succession while recruit Dom Barry enjoyed the wide open spaces at Elizabeth to notch 34 disposals and seven marks.
Key Norwood defender Michael Talia got through his first Statewide Super League game back to finish with 21 disposals and 12 marks.
Norwood will now build up for next Friday night’s blockbuster against Sturt at The Parade while Central will host West Adelaide next Saturday.
NORWOOD 4.2 9.3 12.8 13.11 (89)
CENTRAL 3.4 3.6 5.9 12.14 (86)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Norwood: L. Johnston 38, Barry 34, Grigg, Panos 25, Abbott 22, McKenzie, Shenton, Talia 21, Hamilton 20.
Central: J. Schiller 28, Presbury 27, Hoskin, T. Schiller 25, Goodrem, Habel 23, Menzel 20.
GOALS – Norwood: Bampton 3, Abbott, Gerloff, Panos, Surman 2, Shenton, Stephens.
Central: Stephenson 3, Gillard, Hoskin, Jenner 2, Presbury, J. Schiller, Weaver.
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