Eagles to keep flying against the Double Blues
By Jayden Hill

After close games, upsets and big margins, it’s fair to say that Round eight of the SANFL had it all. We are hoping that round 9 consists of the same entertaining and nail-biting content, as the Eagles host the Double Blues at Maughn Thiem Kia Oval this Saturday afternoon. Although Both teams are in very different positions, they will both be looking for a win to keep their seasons rolling. The Eagles to continue going on their merry way at the top, while the Double Blues sit a game and percentage outside the top 4.

The Eagles redeemed themselves last Saturday with a win against the Panthers, which was previously the only Eagles loss for the year back in round one.Ever since round one the Eagles have been flying and have not lost a game, sitting happy on top of the ladder. Last Saturdays match was a rollercoaster with only seven points separating them at the final break. The Eagles, however kept the Panthers goalless in the last quarter with Eagle’s James Rowe and Jake Von Bertouch scoring the only goals in the final term to secure the 21-point victory.  Rowe and Von Bertouch both hit the scoreboard more than once with Rowe kicking four straight and Von Bertouch scoring two. 

James Rowe is equal first in the Ken Farmer medal, leading the goalkicking with Glenelg’s Liam Mcbean with 26 goals. Rowe has played a major role for the Eagles averaging the highest score per game in the league this season with 82.76. The Eagles Defence is also doing a great job this season, recording the best average for least points scored against them with 52.12. 

James Tsitas, Jordan Foote, Joseph Sinor, Jack Hayes, Lachlan McNiel and Jarrad Redden have all been positives for the Eagles this season, featuring in the best players in previous weeks. 

Sturt, unlike the Eagles, find themselves outside the top four and will be looking to get as many wins as possible to squeeze into the finals. Nathan Grima’s Double Blues are coming off some momentum, after a 65-point thrashing of the Bulldogs last Saturday at Unley. They recorded, not only their biggest winning margin for the year but their biggest winning margin since Round 14 last year! That win on Saturday stopped a four-game losing streak and marked their first win at Peter Motley Oval for the season. Although the Double Blues have only recorded three wins this season, they have scared opposition in patches and have played some good football. Sturt were right with the equal first placed Roosters for the first half in round seven, only to be blown over in the third quarter. 

Jake Sutcliffe bagged six against the Bulldogs last weekend, being only the third player this season to score six or more goals in a match this season. Sutcliffe is also leading Sturt’s goalkicking this season with 14 goals. James Battersby and Abe Davis were also dominant, both gathering 33 disposals each in last weekend’s win. Davis has had an outstanding last three weeks, averaging 30 disposals. Skipper James Battersby has averaged 29 touches in the last five matches and is leading the league in clearances with 81, averaging 10.1 per match. Sam Colquhoun has also had a solid season, averaging 27 disposals per game. 

The Eagles haven’t lost on their home deck since Round 15 last season, which was ironically to the Double Blues by 25 points. However, I think Jade Sheedy’s Eagles will be too strong and will record their 5th straight win at home. 


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