SANFL Round 1 – Norwood v Port Adelaide: ‘Legs Begin Road to Redemption

Season 2016 begins with a clash against our supposed traditional rivals, Port Magpies, cough cough, no, the Magpies are well and truly dead it is really Port Power reserves. The game begins at a frantic pace with Josh Donohue kicking the first goal of the season. Port soon reply from a dubious free kick this sets the pattern for the night but then a exquisite pass from Panos to Lewis Johnston who marks and goals in his debut for the ‘Legs; he is swamped.

Stephen, a friend of my son Daniel, who is attending footy for the first time, asks why are the players fighting so much? It is a combination of ill discipline and appalling umpiring. If the umpires had reversed any number of free kicks paid when the fights occurred and gained control in this way it would have helped, but no, bewildering technical free kicks were paid all night resulting in a staggering 72 free kicks paid.

There must be huge amount of fault laid at the hands of the SANFL due to some ridiculous new interpretations including a huge tightening of the holding the ball rule which basically meant any player who was making the ball their object but any sort of pack resulted, that player was being penalized. For goodness sake, where in the hell was protecting the ball player!

The SANFL has also been stupid and incompetent enough to introduce the last touch of the ball before going out of bounds rule and being far stricter on the deliberate out of bounds rule. With the last touch rule on occasions this resulted in the farcical situation of players shepherding the ball hoping it goes out of bounds the ball bouncing at right angles and then having to compete for the ball.

Where in the hell is COMMON SENSE? Pay the first warranted free kick. Also there is not enough footy nous amongst the umpires to understand when a player is trying to attack and the ball accidentally goes out. Don’t pay a free kick, throw the bloody thing in!

As an umpire, I have a appreciation of how hard it is, but the SANFL is going the wrong way about it, picking young kids who can run and teaching them how to umpire I am more convinced than ever you must have played adult footy at some level to umpire it.

Back to the game, but I had to vent!

The first quarter was a even contest with Dougal Howard showing his promise including a freakish snapped goal; Jimmy Toumpas the Power’s recruit from Melbourne and the returning Anthony Wilson are having a enthralling duel. Wilson makes his touches really count with a clever side step and goal. How Wilson with his amazing blistering pace wasn’t looked at by the Crows and then no one else picking him up is bewildering.

The first quarter ends with Port 3 points up in a see-sawing encounter.

The second quarter is similar with Aaron Young on ball, Cam O’Shea and Paul Stewart having their moments but Norwood are more even and have more contributors.

Goals to Davin Ferriera (the Ferrari) and Peter Perfect Persinos give the ‘Legs a 17 point half time lead. Norwood continues to gain the ascendancy in the third quarter with Lewis Johnston being the most dangerous key forward in the game, Alex Georgiou is annihilating John ‘was the future now the dud’ Butcher.

Jace Bode in his first game as joint captain with Georgiou is contributing individually and also with leadership, his instructing with voice impressive, first gamer Lachlan Pascoe re positioning.

An individual highlight of the third quarter was Wilson seemingly coming from the eighth row of the grandstand to spoil a certain easy mark. Geez he was that quick you would have thought it was Usain Bolt. The third quarter ends with the Redlegs holding a commanding 31 point lead.

Port challenge early in the last, but with Norwood down a player thru Simon Phillips being injured and when Sam Baulderstone rolls a ankle, it looks like Port could run over Norwood. Now Baulderstone has been disappointing in that while he has been the victim of some bewildering ruck infringement free kicks, he didn’t adjust his ruck tactics to the umpires’ interpretation of the rule.

Brady Dawe goes on the ball and gets on top of Dougal Howard, Tim Webber and Matt Panos are too good on the ground for Aaron Young, Steven Summerton and Cam O’Shea. Goals to Johnston and then a long bomb from Matt Fuller, returning from the Western Bulldogs, effectively ends the game as a contest. Jarryd Cachia who has also returned from Richmond has been important with his toughness and clean hands. Peter Bampton, after a wretched 2015 ruined by injury, has been lively on ball and at half forward.

The final margin of 25 points flattered Port with only their straight kicking keeping them in the game, so Round 1 ends with the good guys having a comfortable win. The walk back to the car in the rain is joyous, Daniel finds some religious radio which is as bad as tonight’s umpiring. Good Friday starts with Norwood back in their rightful position on the Premiership ladder on top!

Norwood 15.10 (100) def Port Adelaide 12.3 (75)

Goal Kickers

NORWOOD L Johnson 5, P Bampton, D Ferriera 2, M Panos, J Donohue, P Persinos,
A Wilson, M Fuller, K Roocke 1

PORT ADELAIDE D Howard 3,  Summerton 2, L Sharrad, A Biemans, L Austin, J Palmer

Best Players

NORWOOD J Cachia, B Dawe, M Panos, A Georgiou, L Johnson, A Wilson, J Bode, P Bampton, J Butcher
PORT ADELAIDE A Young, C O’Shea, P Stewart, D Howard, S Summerton, T Gray, P Stewart

Crowd 5,500


  1. Thanks Book. Ventured out to Doggy Park yesterday for the fabulous 18 goal hammering of Norf. Not too many controversial frees there, but there was, yet again, the usual missed out-on full because the boundary ump was 50 metres off the play and the field ump blind-sided – how are they then meant to correctly interpret the nnew (stupid) rule? I’m still concerned too about the potential of the new ‘medical assessment rule’ – maybe we’ll have to see how it goes.
    Lastly, I would normally have attended the toothless v tossers game, but WHY oh WHY did the SANFL schaedule the opening game in direct competition to the Socceroos game (to which I went)?

  2. Jill Tathra says

    The last touch of the ball was trialed in an AFL preseason a while back and they decided just that, the players shepherded it out so they`d get the free and hold up the game. Guess what it never happened so why the SANFL have agreed to it is beyond me. I`m also sad that there is very little coverage of the SANFL games this year on radio so that those of us who, like me, once lived in Adelaide and still follow their team can`t get to at least hear it. 7 can only show one game at a time so it means we will only have the print network to know whats happening, is this really the way to go? Young kids in the country may still follow AFL because they get all the coverage but to get to that level they have to start lower down the rungs so please someone at the SANFL put more effort into local footy in our state.

  3. Jill Tathra you can listen to the live call on

  4. Thanks Rulebook

    The live stream was crap until half time. Your analysis was great

  5. Markl Clarke says

    Fully agree with you on the UMPIRING Rulebook, why the hell do they have to tinker with it?If it ain’t broke, DON’T FIX IT! Is it because they wish to emulate the Australian Farnarkling League? Or is it simply some pinhead wanting to make a name for himself in the history of the SANFL?
    Even though the SANFL MAGPIES don’t exist anymore, it’s still a sweet feeling to beat the SWAMPIES, no matter WHAT guise they take!
    Looking forward to our next encounter with the Power Reserves!
    GO LEGS!!!

  6. Jill Tathra says

    Thanks Baldy

  7. How on earth did J.Butcher male the Port best player list? The umpiring in the second quarter was ridiculous and I am convinced some umpiring official went into the rooms at half time to tell them to pull their heads in, otherwise Port would have received 60+ frees for the match.

    I like the new out of bounds rule, although I’ll reserve judgement to see how it effects close finishes and what leeway they need to give defenders. I also love the rotation cap to 60. Both rules straightened the game up and encouraged long kicking rather than farting around with unnecessary handball.

    Good 4 quarter effort from Norwood and encouraging signs for the season ahead.

  8. Great reading again rulebook . The legs looked good for their first hit out . The umpiring was a shocker , we seen a free kick paid for after disposal which was brought back to the kick taker? ? I thought this would be paid down the ground as it was after disposal thus why the free kick was paid in the first place
    The umpires had no control of the game, to scared to reverse decisions. One of the worst umpired games i have watched
    As for Norwood i like the way we played quick and direct look forward to the North game. Fortis in procella

  9. Was J Butcher in Norwood’s best a case of you taking the p155?

  10. Greg Robins says

    Good unbiased call Mal, the umpiring was at best ,bizzare.When 2 teams are fighting how does an umpire pull out a free + a 50 metre penalty in the same scuffle? Port had the best of those type of decisions, but the Redlegs were fantastic and deserved to win.

  11. Rule book…..outstanding article!
    Counted 5 free kicks inside port 50 resulting in goals……take this out of the end result would show how dominate norwood were….

  12. Steve wood says

    Good write up mal. The umpiring seemed to have a real AFL feel to it which to me stuffed up a hard, typical Norwood port game of footy. The out if bounds rule is just wrong with players sweating off on the bounce of the ball close to the line.
    The real positive of the night was a more direct and quicker Norwood side. I think Johnston will be a huge bonus up front as will the welcome return if Wilson and the Ferrari.

  13. “Baulderstone has been disappointing.” Have you been reading my report cards from Kadina Memorial High School, Rulebook?
    Good to hear that Alex is back in top form and sharing the leadership duties. Hard ask from full back.

  14. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Rabs yes personally I thought the game should have been,Good Friday.Jill just staggering that this out of bounds rule has been brought in after it got trialed in the afl pre season years ago common sense was to bin it for ever,and yes I totally agree re publicity v disappointing lack of radio coverage in 2016.Thanks
    Breton and Mark appreciated and agree.Graeme and Jamsey I think,Butcher made the bps for the legs on merit.Malcolm the classic was when 1 umpire was reversing a decision ( which would have been the correct call) while the other was paying a 25 meter penalty pure incompetence.Thanks Greg and Joe yes inconsistent and diabolical.Steve our ball movement was good and a huge improvement especially on the 2nd part of 2015.Great stuff PB loved the line and Alex G started the year in fine style. thanks folks

  15. Great honest analysis wish M. Rucci was as footy smart and yep umpiring as bad as I have ever seen

  16. Another awesome write-up, and a great opening round win for the Legs. Hopefully a great season awaits

  17. Martin Rumsby says

    I can’t recall more than 70 free kicks being paid in a match before. I agree the interpretation of holding the ball was red-hot in the first half and the last quarter. For some reason the umps went to a more conventional interpretation in the third quarter. Maybe the extraordinarily high number of greed was due to men in green being concerned that the game was going to get completely out of control. There were many acts of poor self-discipline that cost both teams goals.

    Forgetting the umps, Nwd looked impressive. Simon Phillips is an unfortunate out for the team, but we have some quality in the Reserves. Now for the Roosters at Prospect.

  18. Mike George says

    A good account Ashy!
    Norwood outclassed the magpies and deserved their win.
    I really felt the bizarre decisions, inappropriate over corrections and general level of inconsistent interpretations led to an elevated level of animosity in the game.
    Another big stat – ripped guernseys!! More than Butcher scored I’d say!
    Regardless, the ‘good guys’ won and sit atop the ladder

  19. Frank Butt says

    Thanks Malcolm good report for those of us who can’t be there. Especially as nothing in country editions of the advertiser.

  20. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Martin and Mike yes there was some poor discipline by both sides but also agree the incompetent, inconsistent and totally bemusing umpiring was a factor.Jane Bode ( mum of Jace) was happy that she did not have to repair,Jaces gurnsey and yes well and truly more ripped gurnseys than,
    Butcher touches! thank you

  21. I used to think the SANFL had the right umpiring interpretation for holding the ball etc. If what we saw on Thursday night is going to be the norm well they have taken many steps backward.,absolutely diabolical

  22. Dave Brown says

    Good stuff Rulebook. Was unable to attend but was watching the live stats on the phone. When I saw 20 frees had been paid in the first half of the first quarter I assumed the new last touch rule was being counted and was prevalent. Looks like such a better balanced Redlegs side and that makes it 5 in a row against that Alberton mob and 11 in a row against them at the Parade. Since he got good Baulderstone is scragged at pretty much every ruck contest, yet when he returns the favour he is immediately pinged. Agree he needs to get better in this regard but understand his frustration. Great to have Rabbs back!

  23. Luke Reynolds says

    Fantastic to get my Norwood fix, great stuff Malcolm! #norwoodfortheAFL

  24. Nice write up Malcolm. Hopefully my membership package arrives soon so I can see the next game live.

  25. Sam McEwen says

    Perfect analysis Rulebook. Poor Baulderstone had ruck infringements paid against him for obstructing 3rd up in the ruck. Seriously? Is this an actual rule? Bewildering but Bodes well for the season ahead for the mighty ‘Legs. (pun intended)

  26. Jeff Milton says

    Always good to beat Port. Off to a good start in search of 4th premiership in 5 years

  27. Damian Woodards says

    This should go into the printed edition, a game from each State League. Rabs Wilson got a great reception at presentations. Norwood supporters know how valuable he is to be team

  28. Walked into Coopers corner at the start (thanks Rulebook) and didn’t move. Legs have a win, kick at halftime, rain at the end. Take that every Friday night game. Expect a good crowd v Sturt.

  29. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Barks yep a huge concern thanks,Dave agreed definitely better balance and while I totally understand,Baulderstones frustration as several were diabolical decisions he must adapt more anc go with. the flow and interpretations each game furthermore there should be a ruck coach for the umpires as the majority have no idea of the art of rucking.Thanks Luke and Raj totally agree.Thankx Smack bewildering to say the least and good pun.Thanks Milts and Damian greatly appreciated and Rabs is a vital recruit and a big out this week.Thanks Raf not a problem.Knackery readers there has been publicity about legs supporters behavior towards the Cornes boys well amazingly I did not even see either of them on the night and while I am not condoning the over the top abuse my mail re Kane is he doesn’t come out exactly smelling like roses from the dispute overall it is disappointing and hopefully doesn’t occur again.

  30. Malcolm loved your review of the match against the Magpies. They fielded a good side so it was impressive the way the Norwood boys dismantled them. They look a lot faster than last year with the inclusions they have this year. Waiting for your report on the North Adelaide match.

  31. Besides the umpiring, it was a fantastic game to watch. Good to see the legs get up on both occasions that night. Strong crowd considering the Socceroos were playing at Adelaide Oval and it was wet.

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