League Match Report - Round 8 - South Adelaide vs Eagles
League Match Report
South Adelaide vs Eagles
Round 8 - Hickinbotham Oval - 26/05/18
Goals: Biemans, Fitt, Cross 2, Rankine
Best: Liddle, Brooksby, Cross, Summerton
Injuries: Rose (shoulder), Whittlesea (shoulder)
An injury-ravaged South Adelaide suffered a 14-point defeat at the hands of Woodville-West Torrens at Hickinbotham Oval on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers took a 14-point lead of their own into the major break, but were restricted to one rotation on the bench in the second half after hard-nosed defender Matt Rose and key forward Tom Whittlesea both suffered serious shoulder injuries early in the frame.
Woodville-West Torrens overran their hosts in the penultimate term, kicking 6.3 to Matt Rankine's solitary behind to take an ultimately unassailable 24-point margin into the final change.
To the home sides credit, they outscored the Eagles 3.1 to 1.3 in the final term, despite being two men down, but regardless of their courage it would not prove enough to reduce the deficit.
In a low-scoring affair, South spurned some early chance, but took a two point lead into quarter time thanks to majors to Joel Cross and Liam Fitt.
The old firm was clicking well, as Nick Liddle (30 touches, seven clearances and nine tackles) and Cross (22 disposals, seven clearances, seven tackles and two goals) made the most of Keegan Brooksby's dominance at the stoppages.
The former Gold Coast Suns rookie continued his strong run of form since being overlooked for SANFL State duties, gathering 19 possessions and 35 hit-outs (one more than the Eagles as a team combined), while his work around the ground was second to none, clunking five contested marks.
South were dealt a significant blow in the closing stages of the quarter as vice-captain Rose was forced from the ground with a broken collar bone after being cleaned up by fellow former Magpie Louis Sharrad moments after getting a kick away.
The second term was a similarly dour affair.
Former Power veteran Paul Stewart (28 touches) and Jake Westbrook (20) had the Eagles repelling the Panthers forward entries well. Fortunately, the visitors couldn't convert this strong defence into any scoring pressure.
A late goal to Anthony Biemans and a difficult shot from the boundary after the siren from Fitt were the only major scores of the quarter and South had a 14-point buffer at the major change.
Already down a man, South's bench reduced to one after Eagles recruit Whittlesea injured his AC joint in a collision with Jack Hayes as he dived for a mark.
After the break the Eagles truly gained the ascendancy.
It took Nick Hayes just 37 seconds to pull back the first for the visitors and shortly after the floodgates would open.
Woodville controlled the play throughout the term and booted 6.3 to just a behind, as Rankine squeezed one home 27 minutes into the term.
Jake Summerton led his backline well under constant bombardment, but the Eagles kept the ball forward of centre for most of the term thanks to their pressure and work rate.
Rankine pulled one back to start the fourth before Cross coolly slotted his second from a set shot to bring his side within two kicks.
However, Sharrad floated one home in front of the Eagles faithful at the northern end shortly after and not even a brilliant individual effort from Biemans could inspire any more goals out of the home side.
In the end, South won three out of the four quarters, but Woodville were simply too damaging in the third term.
The Panthers hold their position in the top five and will need a strong performance against a sliding Port Magpies side this Sunday, June 3.