MRS Property Match Report Elimination Final: vs North Adelaide
MRS Property Match Report
South Adelaide vs North Adelaide
Elimination Final - Adelaide Oval - 12/09/21
Goals: Fitt 4, Cailotto 3, Cross, Wilkinson 2, Biemans, Nobes, Schwarz
Best: Gibbs, O'Neill, Haines, Fitt, Cailotto, Schwarz
History Made: South Adelaide's second-quarter surge helped record a 43-point Elimination Final win over North Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
The Panthers pounced during the late stages of the second term to head into halftime with a 40-point lead which was ultimately reflected in the final score, 15.11 (101) to 8.10 (58).
The win, which sees the Panthers keep their season alive for at least one more week, also marks their first-ever finals win over North Adelaide since 1903.
There were many standouts in the blue and white, with Bryce Gibbs stepping up on the big stage with 29 disposals, 6 clearances and 5 tackles. Mitch O'Neill was also impressive, finishing with 27 touches, 8 clearances and 6 tackles.
History aside South headed into the match as the underdogs having suffered a 10-goal defeat at the hands of the Roosters in Round 17. Yet from the get-go, it looked as if the Panthers were determined not to let history repeat itself.
Battling against the swirly conditions, the Panthers took some time to find the centre of the sticks—but when it came, it came in style.
With 15 minutes played, O'Neill managed to clear from a stoppage and pass to Liam Fitt, who dodged and fended his opponents before drilling the opening goal of the game.
The other young Panther product, Jason Horne-Francis, then made a mark at the centre clearance by winning possession and setting up Fitt, whose goal gave the Panthers a promising 3.5 (23) to 0.1 (1) lead at the first break.
However, a costly free-kick just a minute into the second term allowed the Roosters to register their first major of the match. They then kicked another unanswered goal minutes later to bring the lead to within 3 kicks.
However, a reckless tackle up forward by North allowed Nic Schwarz to make them pay—and this set up a blistering stoppage-time display.
Continuing with the momentum, the Panthers attacked again and this time, Cross was able to pass off to Alex Cailotto, who also struck from close range.
With immense forward pressure being placed on the Roosters, Cailotto was able to catch his opponent holding the ball, before going back to drill the final goal for the first half.
Once the dust had settled, the Panthers headed into halftime with an 8.9 (57) to 2.5 (17) lead—with half of their goals coming in that stoppage-time surge.
Coming out after the main break, the Roosters once again attacked desperately during the opening minutes, during which stage they registered two unanswered goals.
With the game still up for grabs, Cross was able to then help steady the ship with a much-needed goal 9 minutes into the third term.
Then, a reckless late hit on Roberts allowed Fitt to make the Roosters pay once again—which proved crucial as the red and white registered two goals to end the third term.
Impressively, during the third term, the Panthers defended against 23 inside 50s which resulted in 4 goals—equaling a 17 per cent success rate. The Panthers on the other hand made most of their chances by kicking 2 goals from their 4 entries.
Leading 10.9 (69) to 6.9 (45) at the final change, the Roosters gained a fast start with an early goal—but thankfully, just minutes later Anthony Biemans stepped up with a classy goal.
Biemans and Gibbs then linked up out of the centre clearance before sending it deep towards Cailotto, who out bodied his opponent, went back, and drilled his third major of the match.
A frustrated North outfit then gave away a free dead in front of goal, to which Wilkinson happily finished off to help give the Panthers a healthy buffer.
With the rain coming and going throughout the final term, and with the Roosters trying to rough the Panthers up—the boys in the blue and white just kept playing football.
Both Jesse McKinnon and Bailey Griffiths continued to be strong around the stoppages as the Panthers began to run away with the game.
A 7-point play seemed to be the final nail in North's coffin after Fitt smothered a North kick out before quickly sending it back over their head for a major score.
With minutes remaining, it was a poetic end to the game with the fan favourite from Christies Beach, Daniel Nobes, stepping up with a strong grab and a late goal.
Going from the local league grounds to the biggest stage in South Australia, Nobes then had a shot after the siren—but by then, the Panthers' impressive 15.11 (101) to 8.10 (58) win was sealed.
South Adelaide will now turn their attention towards Norwood, with the Panthers clashing with the Redlegs during the first Semi-Final at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, 18 September, from 3:15pm.
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