Redlegs in desperate need to atone for last week. Avenge the round 2 loss to the Roosters and stay in touch with the top 4
By Nick Blewett

I must confess, I thought Norwood were to be too strong against Glenelg, expecting a raft of strong, even contributions, when in fact it proved quite the opposite. That marked the Tigers’ first win at Coopers stadium in 10 attempts! 

Remarkably, the only goal from competition leader Liam Rowe came after the sealer was delivered in style by another AFL talent in Billy Stretch, from a regrettable turnover by the Redlegs on the edge of defensive 50. Several Glenelg goals seeped out from a defence usually swift at rebounding into attacking 50. 

Yet this game was won first and foremost by many home-grown talents, their engine room running at full efficiency on the weekend. Jack Hannath triumphed in the ruck battle with Baulderstone, every Glenelg midfielder seeing plenty of ball as a result. Particularly Matthew snook, who ranks on the podium of seemingly every key statistical metric in the competition and must surely be eyeing off his teammate Partington’s incumbent Magarey Medal. The more tangible result for now is that Glenelg leapfrog Norwood from fifth to third, as the panthers succumbed to ladder leaders Woodville West Torrens. 

The Redlegs have no time to waste in their recovery as they take on the also-ladder-leading Roosters at Prospect Oval this weekend. The Roosters collided with a much-improved West Adelaide outfit, in an extremely close Friday night match up at Hisense stadium. The Bloods struck the biggest lead of the game moments into the final quarter when Isaac Johnson converted the simplest of set shots, gifted to him by a free kick some way off the ball.

However, the Roosters had time to make amends and successfully swindled the win when first year Will Combe kicked the sealer, his impressive four goal haul entrenching North Adelaide in the top two. For mine though, the win was set up just before half time by Jarred Allmond and his twin long-range goals that gave the Roosters their biggest lead of the contest; although their half-time lead was headed, that buffer proved vital in the seesawing contest.

Down to business. Norwood lost the clearances against Glenelg by 9 or 10 and the inside 50s by 15 as a result and will need to quickly rectify this. Their capacity to rebound from defence remained, though there were simply too many turnovers going forward; the tigers pouncing swiftly on their mistakes.

When they got it forward, at least tall timber Tommy Pinyon was effective, kicking two goals last week from only four touches of the footy. Norwood’s entries inside 50 were not deep or incisive enough to generate more scoring opportunities. One of those goals came from a Josh Richards entry, who decidedly lowered his eyes, his brother collecting a handball from the worm burner entry and goaling on the run. Norwood need more cool-headed entries like that next week, albeit with cleaner execution, to afford their damaging forwards much needed space to turn and burn. Alas, Glenelg stifled them so effectively that they managed only one goal for the second half. 

North Adelaide have worked tirelessly to stay in touch with the Eagles, behind them only on percentage since those teams met. Even contributions in the last month would please coach and captain; Spina returned without fuss, taking 10 marks in defence, his cool presence adding 25 kicks and a heap of rebound inside 50s. He will be needed again to repel a Redlegs side in desperate need to atone for last week, avenge for Round 2, and stay in touch with the top 4. 


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