By ZAC MILBANK
Woodville-West Torrens started its premiership defence in ominous fashion by cruising to a 46-point win against Sturt at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval.
Prized recruits – Troy and Daniel Menzel – combined for seven goals as the Eagles eventually wore the Double Blues down through sheer weight of scoring shots and inside 50 entries – 54 to 30.
Despite trailing by three points at the major change, the reigning premier kicked 9.8 to the visitors’ 2.6 during the second half.
Ball magnet James Tsitas racked up 29 disposals and four tackles for the Eagles while former Crow Riley Knight had 26 touches, six tackles, seven clearances and a goal in his first League game for the club.
Troy Menzel booted 4.1 from his 15 disposals while older brother Daniel kicked 3.2 from his nine possessions as Essendon recruit Kobe Mutch left the field clutching his arm late in the game after collecting 21 disposals.
Sturt skipper James Battersby had 21 possessions and five clearances while youngsters Casey Voss (20 disposals) and Tom Lewis (19 disposals, 12 tackles and 8 clearances) continue to evolve.
AAMI Rookie Josh Shute had a solid League debut for the Blues with 17 disposals and 10 marks while reliable defender Sam Wundke was sidelined with a rib injury before the first change.
A plucky Central District outfit gave coach Paul Thomas a positive start to his coaching career with a hard-fought nine point win against North Adelaide at X Convenience Oval.
Showing plenty of dare and dash, the Bulldogs led at every change as Tasmanian recruit Aiden Grace and veteran Justin Hoskin kicked four goals each in the win.
GWS Academy midfielder Harry Grant racked up 25 disposals for the hosts while Jackson Kelly kicked the sealing goal after streaking through the corridor with four bounces in the clip below.
North’s star signing Aaroun Young kicked four goals from 15 disposals while vice-captain Tom Schwarz had 23 disposals and a goal to be shaded by teammates Jarred Allmond (31 disposals) and Campbell Combe (26 disposals).
The Roosters were also hindered by gun defender Cameron Craig injuring his hamstring in the opening minutes, leaving them a rotation short for the majority of the match.
Glenelg escaped with an indifferent 11-point win against a defiant West Adelaide at ACH Group Stadium.
Setting up their win with an eye-catching six-goal first term, the Bays were unable to produce the same fluency for the rest of the match after only managing two behinds in the second stanza.
Ken Farmer Medallist Liam McBean and goalsneak Jack Kluske kicked three goals each for the Tigers, who suffered from the loss of wingman Billy Stretch to a leg injury before the main break.
Magarey Medallist Luke Partington had 31 disposals, five clearances and a goal while Matthew Snook had 23 handballs and eight clearances.
Bloods coach Brad Gotch will take satisfaction from his side’s resilience after the first change as Neil Kerley Medallist Isaac Johnson continued his strong form from last year with 23 disposals and 3.3.
Hawthorn recruit Kieran Lovell had 22 disposals and a goal in his West debut while Josh Koster kicked two goals from his 15 touches against his former club.
South Adelaide comfortably accounted for Adelaide by 61 points despite inaccurate kicking for goal at Flinders University Stadium.
Former Crow Bryce Gibbs starred in his Panthers’ debut, racking up 36 disposals and five clearances in a composed display as former captain Joel Cross collected 28 touches.
Left-footed Liam Fitt booted four goals for the hosts while twin towers Sam Skinner and Daniel Nobes kicked two each in their first SANFL League matches.
Livewire South teenager Jason Horne finished with 19 disposals and an elusive goal featured in the clip below.
The Crows had former Sturt defender Hamish Latchford lead the way on the stats sheet with 31 possessions while GWS recruit and captain Matt Wright had 25 apiece.
Long-haired Adelaide defender Josh Worrell took an eye-catching mark and was solid with 20 possessions while former Glenelg midfielder Jay Boyle kicked a beauty when he busted through multiple tackles at a stoppage before letting fly from 50m.