Match Report

Norwood edge out arch rivals Port Adelaide in Gallagher Williams Cup

Norwood has outlasted Port Adelaide to claim a tough seven-point victory at Coopers Stadium and retain the Gallagher Williams Cup on Sunday.

The Redlegs trailed by 13 points at half time, but kicked four of the last five goals to set up the 8.12-60 to 8.5-53 win.

James Gallagher and Stephen Williams were on hand to present the Cup (named after their famous Norwood and Port Adelaide families) to the winning captain, but the seven-point margin meant the 2023 series was tied on wins and margin, with Port winning the Round 5 match by seven points.

Norwood retained the cup based on winning the 2022 series 0-2.

Redlegs Vice Captain Nik Rokahr continued his consistent run with 27 disposals and 10 tackles, while Cory Stockdale had 21 disposals, Declan Hamilton 20, Pierce Seymour 20 and Harry Boyd 19, eight clearances and 34 hitouts.

Connor McLean was integral in the forward line with three goals, four marks and several other score involvements, while Luke Surman had a big presence with two goals and six marks.

Following a disappointing 0-8 (win-loss) start to the season Norwood has now won its last two matches. Coach Jade Rawlings was pleased with his team’s effort today.

“Outstanding win in the end,” he said.

“It’s not insurmountable (to play finals), when you are zip and eight you start questioning, but if you get some sort of run on and belief back into how you play, and for it to stack up under pressure as well is really pleasing.

“We’ve made some good inroads in our footy and there is a fair bit more left in us in my opinion so it’s good form to go into the bye having that feeling.”

Rawlings said the Norwood-Port Adelaide rivalry was not lost on him or his playing group.

“You get quickly educated when you get to this club about what the rivalry means for both sides,” he said.

“We are well aware of how hard to play when its Port and Norwood, whether its Alberton or at The Parade.”

Kicking with a strong breeze in the opening term, Norwood got off to a fast start with McLean kicking the opening two goals of the game.

Port Adelaide forwards Cody Szust and Orazio Fantasia struck back for the Magpies with the next two majors to cut the lead to two points, but it was Norwood who took the ascendency for the rest of the quarter with repeat inside 50s.

Matt Panos and Seymour had a strong influence for Norwood in the first term with eight disposals each as Norwood won the possession battle and inside 50 count 16-9.

The Redlegs struggled to convert their opportunities in front of goal however, with Xavier Tranfa and Surman both taking strong marks but missing late scoring shots to extend the margin.

Norwood held a four-point lead at the first break 2.5.17 to 2.1.13, but lost Matthew Ling to concussion during the first term.

The Redlegs began the second term on the back foot as the Magpies stormed out to an eight-point lead following two goals to Francis Evans and Jase Burgoyne.

Following on from his strong start in the first term, McLean kicked truly to slot his third goal of the game, bringing the margin back to under a goal.

The game developed into an arm wrestle before Surman slotted his first goal in the thirteenth minute of the second quarter, handing the Redlegs a three-point lead.

Despite Norwood’s inside 50 dominance 27-20, it was Port Adelaide who owned the remainder of the first half, as Evans, Fantasia and Dante Visentini kicked three consecutive goals to give Port Adelaide a 13-point lead at the main break 4.8. 32 to 7.3. 45.

Rokahr led the way for Norwood with 15 disposals at half time alongside McLean’s three goals up forward.

The start of the third quarter turned into a stalemate with both sides failing to score until the eleventh minute.

Tranfa kicked back-to-back goals to spark the Redlegs back to life, his second major a snap around the body to level the scores in the eighteenth minute of the third term.

Goy Lok kicked a behind late in the third quarter to give Norwood one point advantage 6.10. 46 to 7.3 45 at three quarter time, holding the Magpies scoreless in the third term.

Norwood continued its ascendency in forward entries 40-26 along with a slight edge in disposals (227-217) and clearances (32-27).

Rokahr had a huge third term, with eight disposals and 23 for the match, leading all possession winners for the Redlegs.

Both sides traded early behinds in the final term.

Hamilton found Liam Robinson at half forward, who turned and found Surman who had been a big presence throughout the day.

Surman goaled to make it a seven-point margin, but Port answered back straight away with Evans’ third goal.

Norwood continued to generate inside 50s and led the tally 50-33 when forward Liam Robinson (who has kicked a goal in each of his first three SANFL games) capitalised from a set shot on the nineteenth minute mark.

Sam Morris flew the flag for the Redlegs with an inspirational effort on the half back flank in the 23rd minute mark, putting his body on the line in front of a charging Ollie Lord.

Jack Heard and Matt Panos also put in huge defensive efforts late in the game to ensure Norwood victory.

Port Adelaide’s Jake Weideman missed an opportunity late to trim the deficit to under a goal as the Redlegs held on to a gutsy win. His behind dragged the margin back to seven points and ensured the Cup was drawn in 2023.


Norwood 2.5, 4.8, 6.10, 8.12 – 60

Port Adelaide 2.1, 7.3, 7.3, 8.5 – 53

Goals: McLean 3, Surman 2, Tranfa 2, Robinson

Best: Tranfa, Surman, Rokahr, Stockdale, Seymour

Vice Captain Nik Rokahr gathered 27 disposals, 10 tackles and five clearances in Norwood’s win over Port Adelaide on Sunday.

Norwood co-captains Matthew Nunn and Jacob Kennerley and Port Adelaide captain Tom Jonas with the Gallagher Williams Cup. Pictured with former Port Adelaide and Norwood legends Stephen Williams, left, and James Gallagher, right.