SANFL – Preliminary Final: The Blockbuster awaits

By Malcolm “Rulebook” Ashwood

North Adelaide 16 16 112 def West Adelaide 8 8 56 in yesterday’s Preliminary Final at AAMI Stadium. North after a tight tussle early gradually pulled away to record a comprehensive 56 Point Win. North, coached by Josh Francou, had seemed for the majority of the season to be Norwood’s biggest danger only to fall away and lose their last 5 minor round games, have burst back to come from the Elimination Final to win there way thru to the Big Dance.

Francou and North deserve praise for reigniting the careers of so many so called unwanted Players from other clubs 0 Sullivan George Thring Anderson have become Vital Players. Dalwood played his best game yet while Shannon showed courage to keep playing with a badly corked hip after North had gone down a rotation when Max Donky Thring pulled a hamstring early.

Campbell Blee and Gordon continue to enhance there chances of getting back in to the AFL system while Thiele Clinch Miles Fenton and Amato were Strong Contributors while West Adelaide made the mystifying decision to allow Lewis Johnson to be the Plus 1 and his elite disposal cut West to ribbons.

Andy Collins to the outsider seems to have a Plan A which he is too pig headed to change when it is not working. Why not abandon the Plus 1 and Play Man on Man the old keep it simple approach is too often abandoned in Coachs boxes for Westies. The better players were Birss Silverlock Mangan while as always Tuck Schmidt and the Courageous Ferguson battled Valiantly while Beech played virtually a lone hand up forward kicking 3.

For The Roosters Stewart Gordon and the always dangerous Leigh Ryswyk kicked 3 and O Sullivan 2 so it is the Dream GF the SANFL would have dreamed of where it is Nathan Bassett’s Redlegs v Josh Francou’s Roosters in what should be a Blockbuster to send off AAMI aka Football Park in Style.


  1. The quicker Collin sheads back to Melbourne the better. He has the personality of a wet dishcloth. Is he listening to Opera in his earphones or his half time speeches.

    Should be a cracking GF. North have been fantastic but the might Legs will prevail.

  2. Good summary RB personally I reckon Collins would sink Popeye if he was Captain he is boring and useless at least North are exciting
    Go You Redlegs

  3. Michael Wilson says

    Thanks Malcolm Good to see some SANFL on the Almanac in what is the last year of a real Premiership

  4. Great point re: Lewis Johnston…. give him time and space and he will punish you 99% of the time.
    Surely Bassett wont be as silly – in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he tries to negate his influence in a different way; perhaps making a few phone calls to his old medical staff at West Lakes?

  5. Lachlan Waterman says

    Underrated club North Adelaide. This is their longest premiership drought in their history, 22 years. Shades of 84 here coming from the Elimination.

    Any whispers on the Glenelg gig?

  6. Malcolm Ashwood says

    The 1st Part of Your Post is worrying ! V Quiet re The Glenelg Front
    The Super Coach Collins rumored 4 South just what they need NOT and North and I would think Norwood will need new Coachs as well huge change in SANFL Landscape

  7. Lachlan Waterman says

    Great respect for the Roosters. Glenelg and South should merge. Both clubs are in financial dissaray.

    South are still rebuilding from 1979.

    Good luck for back to back.

    Fond memories of 85-86.

  8. Sam McEwen says

    Thank goodness the Roosters prevailed. At least the ‘Legs will have some competition. Should be a belter of a GF

  9. mickey randall says

    Can’t help but think that it will be the last, real SANFL grand final. Our local competition is to be hijacked from next year. Hope that it is a fitting match. The Redlegs, but the Roosters could provide a nice swan song for this era.

  10. Amazing that the last time they met in the GF was 1960!
    NA 14-11
    NW 13-12

    Hopefully a big crowd as the matchup is deserving of it.
    North can’t afford to go to sleep in patches as Norwood will go to town on us. O’sullivan and Johnston are looking very dangerous, and some other guys have really stepped up.
    Going to go against the odds – North by 11 points.

    See you there in a 1960 style newspaper hat.

  11. Ray Ashwood says

    Good write up Son and after hearing Collins on yhe radio say Johnston too good and we didn’t have any 1 to stand him what a defeatist wouldn’t give 2 bob for Collins
    While North will give the Legs a run for there money it will be a lot better game than
    Westies crap footy

  12. Nick Raschella says

    The decision to let an elite kick like Johnson unattended was mystifying. You don’t want the opposition’s best kick be the loose man in defence.

    Andy Collins doesn’t like to make many moves in a game doing 90% of his planning before the game. Too much Neil Craig not enough Yabby Jeans Coaching style.

    Francou has one more week of big coaching moves before trying to fit Tippett and Buddy into the Swans forward line.

  13. Simon Willcox says

    Legs will have played two games in a month and Roosters four
    North is hurting but they are playing their best footy at the right time
    I am going along taking my daughter and hoping for a fairy tale win from
    the elimination final to premiers but in reality everything will have to
    go right for the red and white. Norwood will need an unhealthy dose of over confidence. If a miracle occurs I will write again afterward … but
    If I had any money I would put it on red and blue

  14. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Simon should be a Great Game really hope Max Donkey Thring comes up but unlikely he is a genuine character Top Bloke If Johnson gets on top Roosters are a huge chance overall I think Norwoods depth will get them home in the last true SANFL GF

  15. At least we have made the finals after looking dodgy at the end of the minor round
    but I live in hope though the Legs are the form side all year
    Now Crio and his mates cant tell me how good the Bays are (were) – still living on memories of 73 (but that was painful)

  16. Nice analysis Rulebook! Good read!

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