Match Report

Sturt power away from Norwood on King’s Birthday Monday

Norwood ruckman Harry Boyd had 44 hitouts and 16 disposals during Monday's King's Birthday Round 9 loss to Sturt. Photo: Alex Pedlar NFC

Norwood has lost back to back matches and with it the top spot on the SANFL ladder after Sturt overpowered the Redlegs in a dominant last quarter display at Unley Oval on King’s Birthday Monday.

In a low-scoring affair, Norwood went into three quarter time with a slender one point lead, but were held scoreless in the last term while the Double Blues piled on four unanswered goals to claim a 28-point win, 9.11-65 to 5.7-37.

After starting the season 7-0, Norwood has now lost two consecutive games to Woodville-West Torrens and Sturt, while Glenelg’s five-win stretch has elevated the reigning Premier Tigers to the top of the ladder.

Norwood have a Bye next weekend, before looking to bounce back against the win-less Port Adelaide at Coopers Stadium in Round 11, in what will be a big weekend for the club which celebrates 1984 and 2014 Premiership Reunions.

A fantastic crowd was packed into Unley Oval to watch the two old rivals Norwood and Sturt play on King’s Birthday Monday.

The Redlegs were again without midfielders Billy Cootee and Mitch O’Neill through injury and Matthew Ling, who was suspended last week.

Sturt’s pressure was outstanding in the first 10 minutes, and everything Norwood did was contested.

Connor McFadyen kicked the first goal for Sturt, and the Double Blues had doubled Norwood’s disposals to the 12-minute mark, while also out-tackling the visitors.

Norwood finally found a clean transition and Jayden Gale found Connor McLean on the lead. McLean’s long set shot missed narrowly, but it allowed Norwood to settle into the match.

An off the ball free kick allowed Norwood to belt the ball inside 50m, rather than taking a full back kick out in the goalsquare, and it helped the Redlegs to find their first goal through Henry Nelligan, who was playing his 50th SANFL match.

Both sides had been undisciplined to start the game, giving away off the ball free kicks, and for Sturt it proved costly on this occasion.

Scores were level at 1.2-8 at the half-way point of the first term, despite Sturt’s early dominance.

Norwood had two in a row when Jackson Callow marked and goaled from 25m out, which put the Redlegs in front and most importantly silenced the big crowd watching on.

The home crowd was getting restless and a 7-2 free kick count (Norwood’s way) wasn’t helping.

McFadyen had his and the Double Blues second when he nailed a long set shot to level the scores.

Another free kick allowed Jared Dakin to kick a cracking snap from the pocket after the quarter times siren to put Sturt up by five points at the first break, 3.2-20 to 2.3-15.

Sturt was +25 in disposals, +14 marks, +5 tackles and +2 clearances, but Norwood was +1 inside 50m entries at the first break.

Sturt went forward from the restart and Lachie Burrows hit the post with an early set shot from the pocket.

The Double Blues were enjoying the grind, and kicked a third straight goal through James Mathews to go 13-points in front.

Callow looked a big threat in the forward line, taking his fourth mark of the half and going back to kick a much-needed Norwood goal.

At half time it was 4.5-29 to 3.3-21.

The top three ball winners on the ground were Sturt’s Casey Voss, Will Snelling and Tom Lewis, but the Redlegs had closed the gap on Sturt’s early disposal dominance.

The Redlegs started the second half brightly, with back to back goals to Callow and McLean to hand the lead back to Norwood.

It was Sturt’s turn to respond and Sam Conforti nailed a running goal to put the Double Blues back in front by two points.

It was a low-scoring game but the lead had changed four times in just over a half.

The crowd was playing a part, and Norwood was pressing hard for the go-ahead goal.

From a slow play on the wing, Norwood drove the ball in long and Izaak Twelftree marked in the pocket but he couldn’t finish with a goal. His kick was the final disposal of the third term, and was Norwood’s third behind in a row.

The minor score put the Redlegs in front by one point at the final change, 5.7-37 to 5.6-36 following a 2.4 to 1.1 quarter.

The first goal and early momentum was pivotal in the last term, and both sides had chances when transitioning forward.

Conforti had the first set shot for Sturt, which was marked on the last line of defense by Harry Boyd.

Norwood transitioned nicely along the wing, but the final kick inside 50m was again cut off by Rory Illman who had been an outstanding intercept marker all day.

Scores were level at 5.7-37 apiece, before Conforti nailed a running goal at the nine-minute mark to put Sturt in front by six points.

Conforti had two goals in a minute, when he snapped a high ball through the big sticks to double his side’s lead to 12 points.

Norwood needed to respond but Sturt went forward again, and a rushed behind put the home side up by 13 points at the 12-minute mark.

The Redlegs went end to end from the kick out and Callow took a strong contested mark 30m out, but it wasn’t paid.

Conforti was having a purple patch and narrowly missed another long shot on the run in front of the new clubrooms, and a minute later Angus Anderson also missed to put Sturt 15 points up.

Sturt was playing a quality final quarter, laying strong tackles and taking time off the clock when it had the chance.

Anderson had another chance to ice the game with another set shot directly in front, this time he converted on Sturt’s eighth consecutive scoring shot in the final quarter to put his side 21 points up at the 19-minute mark.

Norwood needed four goals in a hurry, and had a shot on goal that was again overturned in another off the ball incident.

It all-but killed any comeback, with Sturt going down the other end and kicking the sealer through Burrows.

The final quarter was a disappointing one for Norwood. After turning for home with its nose in front, the Redlegs allowed Sturt to kick 4.5 to no score and claim a solid 28-point win in a similar fashion to the Eagles loss last week.

Norwood’s major ball winner was Ben Simpson with 19 disposals, eight tackles and five clearances, while Sam Morris had 18 disposals and six tackles.

Harry Boyd, Jacob Kennerley and Baynen Lowe each had 16 touches. Sturt had the four major ball winners on the ground, with Snelling having 27 disposals, Voss 26, James Battersby 21 and Lewis 20.

Callow played a good game at full forward, booting three of Norwood’s five goals and taking four marks, while Nelligan and McLean were the other goal kickers.


Norwood 2.3, 3.3, 5.7, 5.7 – 37

Sturt 3.2, 4.5, 5.6, 9.11 – 65

Goals: Callow 3, McLean, Nelligan

Best: Boyd, Donnelly, Graham, Callow, J. Heard

Key forward Jackson Callow was amongst Norwood’s best, kicking three goals.

Norwood’s Reserves side suffered its first loss of the season, with Sturt running away with an impressive 73-point win at Unley Oval on King’s Birthday Monday.

The first quarter was an even tussle with the Double Blues going into the first break just six points in front, but from there the Double Blues powered past the Redlegs.

It was all set up in a blistering second quarter where the home side put on six goals to one to open up a 41-point lead at half time.

It could have been far worse for Norwood, with Sturt kicking a wayward 6.6 to Norwood’s 1.1 in the second term.

The Redlegs worked their way into the contest after half time, keeping Sturt to just two behinds in the first 13 minutes of the third quarter.

But, from that point the Double Blues put their foot down again and finished with another five-goal burst in the second half of the third term to make it a 67-point lead at the final break.

Norwood managed a couple of late goals, but the damage was done in a 16.12-108 to 5.5-35 demolition of the top team.

Small forward Lachie Bates was a standout with 15 disposals and two goals for Norwood.

Luke Bogle, George McLeod and Xavier Tranfa each had 18 disposals for the Redlegs in what was a tough morning in Unley.


Norwood 1.1, 2.2, 3.2, 5.5 – 35

Sturt 2.1, 8.7, 13.9, 16.12 – 108

Goals: Bates 2, Best, Binder, Bogle

Best: Binder, Bates, Tranfa, Hodge, Best

Darci Best had 11 disposals and kicked a goal for Norwood’s Reserves on Monday. Photo: Maya Thompson NFC.