Supreme efficiency set up an 18-point win for Sturt against South Adelaide at Flinders University Stadium.
Despite having 20 fewer inside 50 entries, the Double Blues benefited by neat ball use by foot to lead at every change against the wasteful Panthers.
Not only were the visitors more accurate in front of goal, they were also the masters of taking the sting out of South’s attack by maintaining possession and using the clock to their advantage.
With star midfielder Patrick Wilson (19 disposals and two goals) starting strongly, Oliver Grivell finished off nicely in front of goal to boot three majors in the opening half for Sturt.
A commanding 37-point lead at half-time allowed Martin Mattner’s men to dictate terms as South kicked nine behinds in succession before Richmond recruit Ryan Garthwaite opened its account with a snap in the 22nd minute of the second term.
Sturt onballers Tom Lewis (24 possessions) and James Battersby (22 disposals) were also constructive while Casey Voss took a couple of telling intercept marks early in the contest.
Sturt defender Rory Illman did an admirable job of keeping South livewire Jye Menzie to just one goals and eight disposals.
South’s Mitch O’Neill worked tirelessly around the expanses of Noarlunga to rack up a game-high 37 disposals and seven clearances while Fraser Turner tallied 32 possessions for the hosts.
Hayden Sampson attempted to spark his side with his trademark run and carry but it wasn’t enough despite the Panthers closing the gap to just two goals in the 28th minute of the fourth term.
It wasn’t pretty but Woodville-West Torrens will certainly take the premiership points after outlasting West Adelaide by 13 points at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval.
Jumping out to a three-goal lead at the first change, the Eagles were never able to truly shake the Bloods even when star forward Daniel Menzel kicked his third goal in the 10th minute of the final term.
It opened up a 25-point advantage but even then, West were able to kick the final two goals of the game to display plenty of spirit against the reigning premier.
The Eagles had 16 more inside 50s than the visitors and eight more scoring shots but their inaccuracy in front of goal (8.15) kept West in the game for longer than they would have liked.
Eagles midfielders Riley Knight and Kobe Mutch collected 26 disposals each while Kai Pudney and Joseph Sinor registered 23 each for the hosts.
Menzel and Zane Williams booted three goals each for the Eagles, as Connor Ballenden and Matthew Goldsworthy – returning from concussion – looked threatening but combined for five behinds.
West’s Josh Carmichael was impressive with 29 disposals and two goals, one from a booming set shot well beyond the 50m arc.
Former Tiger Callum Park had 26 disposals in defence for the Bloods while Jordon Boyle and Hamish Hartlett each had 23.
The Bloods’ 25-year-old debutant Max Marslen kicked three goals in his first Hostplus SANFL League outing, while also hauling in six marks to be a consistent presence inside 50m.
Glenelg produced yet another remarkable comeback to earn a memorable 15-point victory against Adelaide at ACH Group Stadium.
Less than a week after hauling in a 34-point deficit against Sturt, the Bays were at it again against the Crows, this time reeling in a 41-point difference early in the third quarter.
Desperate to honour premiership pair Matt Snook (150 games) and Luke Reynolds (100 games), the Tigers trailed by a point at the first change before being overwhelmed by the Crows, who piled on 7.1 to just four behinds in the second quarter.
Whatever Glenelg coach Brett Hand said at the main change didn’t take long to have an impact after Liam McBean booted two of his four goals in a row to get things moving in the third term.
It triggered a stunning avalanche of 10 goals for the premiership stanza, as the hosts looked a completely different outfit while swarming in numbers and winning the 50-50 contests.
Strong-bodied midfielder Brett Turner – who finished with 38 disposals, seven marks and six clearances – kicked the second of his four majors to open up a 20-point lead for the Bays by the final break.
The former Blood kicked another two in the fourth term as midfield teammates Luke Partington (40 disposals, five clearances and a goal) and Snook (32 disposals, eight tackles) ensured there would not be another momentum swing back in the Crows’ favour.
Tiger Darcy Bailey was superb in a different role across half-back with 34 touches while Billy Stretch and captain Max Proud – returning from Covid protocols – were also outstanding in the back half.
Glenelg’s win was even more meritorious considering 100-gamer Luke Reynolds was unable to return to the field after having his teeth knocked in the opening minute of the match.
Crows ruck Kieran Strachan was again tremendous for his side, tallying 19 disposals, five marks and 40 hitouts to give midfield teammate Jackson Hately (26 disposals, four clearances) plenty of opportunities.
Key Adelaide forward Riley Thilthorpe booted his team’s first three goals of the game before finishing with four to go with 14 disposals and four tackles while goalsneak Tariek Newchurch was a threat with three goals and six tackles.
Norwood was made to work for its first win of the Hostplus SANFL League season after edging out Port Adelaide by 16 points at The Parade.
After losing their first two games in frustrating fashion, the Redlegs looked set for a comfortable victory when midfielder Jacob Kennerley slammed through a goal from close range four minutes into the second term.
The hosts suddenly led by as much as 32 points as the Magpies appeared shell-shocked with just one goal on the scoreboard.
But that was to be the last period of dominance for Jade Rawlings’ charges, who had their lead trimmed to just 15 points after the visitors kicked the next three goals of the contest.
Norwood threatened to open things up again with three of the next four majors before Port draftee Hugh Jackson calmly slotted through his set shot on the three-quarter time siren.
When Redlegs forward Cam Taheny booted his fourth goal of the game in the sixth minute of the fourth term, it was always going to prove difficult for Port, who managed just one goal deep into time on.
Norwood ball-winners Nik Rokahr (31 disposals), Matthew Nunn (27 disposals) and Jay Rantall (25 disposals) were all influential while Josh Richards was noticeably clean and calm with his 24 possessions while also laying eight tackles.
Taheny made the most of his chances to boot 4.1 from 14 disposals and four marks while Connor McLean and Tristan Binder provided solid support in the air inside 50m.
Port’s Jase Burgoyne tallied 21 disposals and his first SANFL League goal while Kane Farrell (20 disposals and a goal) showed promising signs as he continues to build following a knee reconstruction.
Magpie goalsneak Dylan Williams finished with 3.3 from 13 disposals and seven marks but it wasn’t enough to prevent his side’s third loss in succession.
North Adelaide held its nerve to record a commanding 43-point win against Central District at Prospect Oval.
Wasteful in front of goal by booting 1.6 to the first change, the Roosters turned it on in the second stanza by slamming on 7.4 to the Bulldogs’ 2.1.
It allowed the hosts to transform a concerning 20-point deficit at quarter-time into a 13-point advantage at half-time.
After kicking five goals in a losing side to be the Round 2 Powerade Breakthrough Player, North recruit Jacob Bauer was at it again with another five-major haul as his side ran over the Dogs in the second half.
The former Sydney Swans Academy forward was able to benefit from the hard work further up the field from Aaron Young, who ran hard all afternoon to finish with 36 disposals, 11 clearances, seven marks and a goal.
Fellow Rooster Harrison Wigg was also industrious with his 35 possessions, 15 marks and a surprise goal which rolled through from close to 70m out after it fell over the back of the pack and rolled through.
Captain Alex Spina continued his red hot start to the season with 27 disposals while the Combe brothers were also instrumental in the turnaround as Will collected 24 disposals and two goals while Campbell had 25 possessions, seven clearances and seven tackles.
Central ruck Billy McCormack continues to impress at his new club since crossing from Frankston, collecting 24 disposals, eight marks, six tackles and 17 hit outs.
Kyle Presbury had 33 disposals across half-back for the visitors while defender Rhett Montgomerie impressed in the air to snare 11 marks to go with his 23 disposals and his first League goal in 20 games – a 60m set shot.
Sign up to see all the news from around the SANFL each week – directly in your inbox!