Round 1 Hostplus SANFL Snapshot – Easter Thursday

Norwood captain Jacob Kennerley tackles Sturt skipper James Battersby at The Parade. Picture - Cory Sutton

Compiled by Zac Milbank

Sturt’s James Mathews celebrates kicking the opening goal for his team. Picture – Cory Sutton


Norwood erased any memory of last year’s horrific start to the season with a gutsy 27-point win against arch-rival Sturt at The Parade.

Starting the 2023 campaign with a 0-8 win-loss record, the Redlegs gradually wore down the Double Blues in the second half as they outscored the hosts 7.7 to 3.3.

Registering an outstanding tally of 94 tackles for the match, Jade Rawlings’ men signalled their intent with a fierce attack on the ball while also maintaining possession with 14 more marks.

Norwood’s midfield made the most of star Sturt centreman Tom Lewis’ absence after half-time, with the bullocking onballer suffering a suspected calf strain before the main change.

Former Essendon VFL captain Billy Cootee made a stunning Hostplus SANFL League debut with 21 disposals, 10 tackles, six clearances and two goals for the Legs.

Cootee, new skipper Jacob Kennerley (19 disposals, 8 tackles) and South Adelaide recruit Mitch O’Neill (21 disposals) – sporting the treasured No.14 guernsey – were the beneficiaries of Harry Boyd’s dominance in the ruck.

The 2022 Jack Oatey Medallist returned to his premiership-winning form with 21 disposals, 14 clearances, nine tackles and a goal.

Norwood Grand Final hero Matt ”King” Panos also provided a memorable highlight when he spun out of traffic and snapped truly late in the first quarter.

Sturt started brightly with James Mathews booting a classy opening goal from 50m and star signing Will Snelling finding plenty of the Sherrin early before tallying a game-high 24 disposals, nine tackles and six clearances in his Double Blues’ debut.

Veteran captain James Battersby collected 23 disposals and six clearances while Casey Voss provided plenty of one-percenters along with his 18 disposals.

AAMI Rookie Will Spain made an lively start to his League career, spending time in the centre square in the absence of Lewis before registering 14 disposals, four marks and four tackles.

Norwood’s Jackson Callow gets his finger tips to the Sherrin ahead of Sturt’s Luke Edmonds. Picture – Cory Sutton

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