By ZAC MILBANK
Why is it Game of the Week?
This will see the two form teams in the competition go head-to-head in the Friday night prime timeslot in front of the Redleg faithful at The Parade. Norwood remains unbeaten after five rounds, and after falling over the line in the opening three rounds, have been much more commanding in wins against Port and North in the past fortnight. The captain Jace Bode is back on deck after dislocating his shoulder in Round 1 while the likes of Peter Bampton – who booted five goals on Anzac Day – are among the lesser lights to continue their steady improvement. With Heath Younie back at the helm – the man who guided the Crows to the 2016 Preliminary Final – the visitors appear a much more settled outfit which is playing with genuine purpose. Patrick Wilson has been his consistent self in the midfield while Josh Jenkins hit the scoreboard last week with thee goals. Plus the addition of promising Development players Tom Hutchesson and Hamish Latchford has improved the standard of depth at West Lakes this year. It is first versus third on the ladder in what promises to be a beauty.
For the Record
The Last Three
Round 13 2018 – Norwood 13.24 (102) d Adelaide 7.9 (51)
Round 5 2018 – Norwood 14.23 (107) d Adelaide 13.8 (86)
Round 14 2017 – Norwood 13.13 (91) d Adelaide 9.12 (66)
Matt Panos (Norwood) v Patrick Wilson (Adelaide)
The 2019 Bob Quinn Medallist will look to continue his excellent form by going toe-to-toe in the centre square with last year’s Adelaide State League best and fairest winner. Panos and Wilson are both big-bodied midfielders who will look to use their imposing frames to advantage at the stoppages. They are both equally adept at winning clearances, particularly in the centre square, so the battle will be on right from the first bounce. Whoever can gain the upper hand in this duel will significantly help their side toward earning the premiership points.
Bampton made his name as a junior as a strong-bodied midfielder but now the boy from Lobethal has transformed himself into a strong-marking, medium-sized forward. On his day, the 23-year-old can have a significant influence, as evidenced on Anzac Day when he booted five goals. The key for Bampton is to ensure he still contributes defensively if he’s not hitting the scoreboard on a regular basis. Has improved his accuracy significantly to boot 13.2 for the season.
Having played in a premiership with Millicent last year, the former Glenelg junior has been lured back up to the city to play in SANFL ranks. Making his Statewide Super League debut in Round 1, the 24-year-old is getting better with every appearance culminating in his being rated as the Crows’ best in last Saturday’s win against Central District. Hutchesson possesses some nice acceleration which he uses to his advantage to escape the stoppage before disposing of the ball neatly to his team-mates. Finished with 26 disposals against the Bulldogs to be among the nominees for the Powerade Breakthrough Player.
Adelaide by 15 points
Adelaide has been super impressive in each of its outings this year with the exception being the shock loss to Glenelg in Round 2. While a win wasn’t yielded against South in Round 4, coach Heath Younie declared the first half was some of the best football his side had produced in more than a year. A similarly devastating first half resulted against Central which put the Dogs on the back foot early last Saturday. The scary thing for Norwood will be if the Crows can maintain these damaging periods for four quarters, if so, it will have a genuine fight on its hands. The Redlegs will look to continue using the speedy Dom Barry and Anthony Wilson on the outside but it might not be enough to counter the Crows on this occasion.