MRS Property Match Report Round 5: vs Norwood
MRS Property Match Report
South Adelaide vs Norwood
Round 5 - Coopers Stadium - 30/04/21
Goals: Cross, O'Neill, Rose, Schwarz, Tarca, Wilkinson
Best: Haines, Gibbs
A costly second term sees South Adelaide suffer their first loss of the season in a low scoring affair against Norwood at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.
The Panthers couldn't overcome the damage suffered during the second term, and they fell nine points shy of the Redlegs, 6.6 (42) to 7.9 (51).
Coming into the match, the Panthers were forced to make three changes as Liam Fitt, Anthony Biemans and Matthew Broadbent were ruled out. This opened the door for Tasmanian recruit and former Richmond player Fraser Turner to make his debut.
Donning the hoops for the first time this season and playing for points on a Friday night for the first time since Round 12, 2020 it was the Panthers who rose to the occasion early.
Within the first minute of the match, South Adelaide cleared the ball and hit up the leading Jake Tarca, who went back and drilled the first goal of the night. Just minutes later, Joel Cross's clever handpass under pressure to Mitch O'Neill allowed him to sprint away and kick the second major of the match.
But the home side were able to steady themselves with a goal of their own.
Playing on the postage-stamp sized oval, the defence began to be put under immense pressure from the Redlegs something they would have to contend with for the rest of the match.
The backline was able to find some relief through James Lonergan, whose holding-the-ball tackle at halfback prevented a promising glimpse inside 50 for Norwood.
The two Tassie boys, O'Neill and Turner, were also able to link up along the straight boundary line to help the side rebound.
Yet when the siren sounded to pause the chaotic clash, just 2.1 (13) to 2.3 (15) was what separated the two sides.
Norwood opened the scoring during the second term. But the Panthers replied soon after as Sam Overall safely shepherded a snap by Nic Schwarz over the line. From here however it was all the way of the visitors.
Norwood would kick four unanswered goals to end the first half, handing the Panthers a 3.2 (20) to 7.4 (46) deficit at the main break.
With plenty of work to do during the third term, the Panthers begun grinding away but they struggled to string together any quick ball-movement due to the Norwood numbers around the ball.
Finally, the Panthers were able to break through with a goal from an unlikely culprit, with Matt Rose contributed with a captain's goal. However, this wouldn't be the key moment that fans would have hoped for as this goal would be the sole major for the term as the match became even more defensive.
Highlighting the defensive and pressure-filled nature of this match, the repeated stoppages and numbers around the footy saw the two sides finish the match with a combined total of 203 tackles. Likewise, the combined final score was 30 points less than what South Adelaide matches usually average this season.
The Panthers were let off lightly during the latter stages of the third term, with the side conceding consecutive frees in similar positionsbut both times Norwood failed to capitalise.
The low scoring affair would continue throughout the final quarter, and it wasn't until midway through the fourth term that we would see the next goal after Eamon Wilkinson managed to shrug a tackler and kick truly on the run.
Joel Cross stepped up late with a goal from the pocket, but with the game already well into stoppage time at that stage the match was all but decided.
The siren would sound to hand the Panthers a bitter 6.6 (42) to 7.9 (51) defeat.
South Adelaide will look to bounce back when they face off against the Eagles at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval on Saturday, 8 May, from 2:10pm.