SANFL Round 10 – West Adelaide v Norwood: Norwood bolt in by a point

Norwood 13.17 95 def West Adelaide 14.10 94

GOALS Norwood: Glenn, Panos 4; Grigg, Hamilton, Shenton, Gerloff, Smart
West Adelaide: Green, Rankine 3; Stevens 2; Agostino, Karpany, Noble, Porplyzia, Middleton, Wasley-Black

BEST Norwood: Panos, Abbott, Glenn, Smart, Shenton, Nunn, Johnston, McKenzie, Wilkins
West Adelaide: Wasley-Black, Green, Rankine, Schiller, Porplyzia


Norwood have come from the clouds and defeated West Adelaide by a point in a cliff hanger at Richmond oval coming back from being 27 points at three quarter time and winning their fifth successive game.

Norwood’s inner belief in its game plan was vital in winning the game but, being brutally honest, Izak Rankine cost West Adelaide the game. Twice in the last few minutes the Bloods were going to have a set shot for goal to more than likely win the game, only for the ball to be reversed by the umpire with really poor lack of discipline.

Rankine is a special talent with electrifying pace and fantastic ball skills who kicked three goals. It will be interesting whether recruiting scouts will be scared off calling his name out immediately in the upcoming draft. Hopefully he learns from today it really is up to him.

The Bloods’ pace had troubled the ‘legs right from the outset with Errin Wasley-Black and Rankine outstanding, Kaine Stevens and Joshua Schiller also contributing. Norwood with some poor decision making and bad disposal, especially by foot, were factors in West being up by 22 points at half time.

Norwood came out and dominated in terms of possession and inside 50s at the start of the third quarter, only to be let down by terrible kicking for goal adding 2.7 19 to four straight by Westies who scored on the counter. Both sides need to work on their positioning and zones re. turnovers. It resembled a game of basketball with both sides running into open goals.

The last quarter was really ‘cometh the hour cometh the man’ in Matt Panos who, clearly had been Norwood’s best, yet again raised his game to another level. He did it all, linking play together and then exploding to kick three goals in three minutes (I admit I am vehemently opposed to totally structured interchanges. No way in the world would Matt have come off in that last quarter… I admit he was a tad buggered).

How Matty Panos is not on an AFL list for mine is the most bemusing and bewildering question in footy. Josh Glenn, through some good coaching by Jarrod Cotton had been moved to play one out in the 50, was also a huge target and vital in the win, kicking four goals. You could sense the trepidation in his Bloods opponent.

Will Abbott has been a massive inclusion coming to the club from St Iggys after winning the most prestigious award in world sport, the FA Bloch Medal as the dominant player in Div 2 of SAAFL community footy in 2017. Ed Smart and Matty Nunn’s run and carry in the last quarter and Brady Dawe in the ruck were decisive factors as well.

The Bloods through the returning Jason Porplyzia closed to within a point (great to see one of the good guys in Porpoise who has just been so unlucky re. injuries, this time coming back from a knee reconstruction) only for Rankine to be the villain. Norwood managed to run down the clock and with some good fortune ran out winners by the comfortable margin of one point.


Jarrod Cotton addresses the troops

Jarrod Cotton summing up after the game thought West Adelaide had worked harder with better transition in particular in the first half. He acknowledged that we were not always going to win easily and ugly wins are important for building on during the season and help further to add self belief.

In my opinion the umpiring was again disappointing re. positioning and lack of common sense. There is a real dearth of footy nous and know-how amongst our ranks at present. So many of the instructions which flow thru from AFL level are just so wrong as far as I am concerned and should be so much better (the holding the ball against Alex Georgiou the classic the in the pack no chance what so ever to get rid of it. Geez, Barrie Robran wouldn’t have disposed of it in that huge pack).


Andrew Blaess leads the team song

The most important part of this weekend of footy by a mile is the Neale Daniher inspired MND game on Monday. Neale’s support of others stricken with this insidious disease is truly remarkable. Hopefully Neale is chosen as Australian of the Year while he is still around to be recognised and enjoy it.

At Norwood we have Chris Grigg who is fighting MND. Chris, to say there is a huge amount of respect and love as a person from the footy world for your good self is a massive understatement. Good luck mate, we are all united.

Go the ‘legs!


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  1. Dave Brown says

    A comeback for the ages, Rulebook, has certainly put a pep in my step. Rankine will learn from that, otherwise he was outstanding. That is the best team West Adelaide has put on the field since their premiership and to come over the top without Baulderstone was superb. Knew it was going to be our day when after the two overturned frees that ball dribbling out for a West free doubled back and went out off their player’s leg – yowzers! Really liking what Nunn and Abbott are adding to the side. But as you say, the transitional defence still needs a fair amount of work.

  2. If there ever is a season defining game this is one of them Strength in Adversity , from the ashes we rise as one , and rain supremacy , now we must move forward and continue along this path to the holy grail #Legs4Life

  3. FUN FACTS: This was the Redlegs’ 34th one-point SANFL win, their first coming against South Adelaide in 1903. Seven of the 34 wins have been against the Bloods, more than against any other side.

  4. Dave Ridge says

    Fortis in Procella!!
    From the outset the signs were ominous. With our on ballers initially experiencing for the first time in my mind this year, a dominant Ruck onslaught. Westies extremely pacey midfield were undoubtedly well drilled and disciplined in terms of their centre bounce and around the ground stoppages. Effectively using set match ups and structures. However, I feel they were given an armchair ride early. Notably by some skilful tap ruck work to position, by a much physically dominant and experienced West opponent.
    I hope our midfield today realised the grace they are given under a Bauldy led Ruck attack??
    It was always going to be a tough day at the office for our midfield. Brady Dawe going into Ruck to rectify the mismatch was pivotal I believe, in keeping the score within touch at the final break.
    Besides another standout Panos performance. I thought it was a scratchy, off and on type performance by the playing group up until 3/4 time. Credit definitely must be directed at a relentless offensively running and defensively harassing opposition. That for the greater part of the first 3 quarters. Not only held down their own positions. But restricted the effectiveness and flow of possession to the majority of our lads.
    The final quarter speaks for itself. The earlier ebb and flow type scrap to just stay within reach. However excruciating it was to witness, had served its purpose!! Now with hindsight, what was seemingly a frustrating 3 quarters of regression.Was for me becoming the gutsy 3 quarter, never give up,”Strength in Adversity” grind. A gutsy slog that ultimately eroded the flood gates. And boy did it flood!! Enough to wash us over the line… just!
    It was a stirring win. It wasn’t pretty, but in was for me… every bit our beloved ‘Fortis in Procella’ Malcolm.

    Love reading your articles mate. They’re always on the mark!! Cheers mate,

  5. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great stuff Book. Sounds like you’ve got a few Greeks at the Redlegs. Have to watch out for Matty Panos. Cheers.

  6. Pretty happy to be walking away with the points… Used a get out of jail free card today!! Great article, Rulebook.

  7. Bill Drodge says

    Thanks Malcolm.

    I couldn’t get to the game so checked the scores s couple of times. A tad disappointed with the 3/4 time score after the ‘Legs kicked 2.7. Didn’t check the scores until after full time….must admit was expecting a 5 goal loss!

    2nd half must have been better overall….but 8.11 to 6 straight from Westies (did they kick all their goals from 30m out in front?).

  8. Great write up Rulebook. Even though I am living in Darwin, reading this I felt like I was at the game.
    Go the Redlegs take this belief into the second half of the season and into finals.

  9. Greg Harderson says

    Nice one Rulebook. I especially enjoyed the basketball reference, which I think you were right on the mark about.
    (Hasn’t Panos got a basketball background? Certainly showed it today!) I almost expected the umpy to slap a double technical on Rankine in the final quarter and award us free throws! Discipline is part of the game, so we deserved the win, for mine.

  10. Manny Koufalakis says

    Good summation of the game Rulebook.
    I would just like to add that it seems that if Norwood tackle well like they did against the Eagles and Centrals then you know we have come to play. Our tackling in the first 3 quarters was terrible and it showed on the score board. I felt it was one of the things that improved in the last and the pressure started to show on Westies.
    Luck was certailnly on our side but then again we stayed within range for 3 quarters even though being beaten well so perhaps instead of being lucky to win we were fortunate instead. Still you play footy over 100 minutes so I guess Norwood deserved the win. Go Legs!

  11. Mark Duffett says

    Had to laugh in the last few minutes at the West defender waiting for the pill to dribble out of bounds for a free, only for it to take a 70 degree bounce to the right, into his shin and over the boundary on the full. You knew it wasn’t going to be their day then.

    At least it made for some light relief after watching Centrals go down to Port at home for their fourth loss in a row.

  12. Jill Tathra says

    As you know Norwood isn`t my team but wow 1 point. I get so het up with the close games so can imagine how you all were feeling. Must have been a great game to watch.

    All the very best to Chris Grigg as he fights this awful illness. So many horrid ones about.

  13. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Dave the world was a better place at 5 pm than 4.30 yes as Mark has also referred below it was comical the West guy waiting for the ball to roll out of bounds when it hit his boot ( highlighted the stupidity of the last touch rule ) Rob yep a vital 2 points the ladder at the end of the year only remembers that.
    Gigs a incredible stat and thank you for your help.Dave love your comment couldn’t agree more yes it highlighted how important,Sam Baulderstone is,Panos gun.Phil Panos was drafted by the dogs as a full forward as a kid he has matured in to a elite midfielder it is a farce he is not playing afl footy.Brad yes I thought of Steve McQueen in the great escape leaving,Richmond.Bill we missed some easy shots and Westies did go thru our zone to easily on several occasions.Andrew greatly appreciated.Greg thank you I will check with Nos re his own basketball playing and Rankine would have deserved the tec foul call v v silly to say the least.Manny totally agree re our intent if a fraction below geez it does stand out the bloods pace troubled us but we missed several tackles which just should not have happened.Mark yes that was comical the dogs seemed to have fallen away a fair bit.Jill yes shocking re illnesses great news re yourself in the week keep fighting ! Thanks folks

  14. Simon Vanlint says

    Rulebook I especially liked the way you snuck Rankine into Norwood’s best players – spot on! He gave away the initial 25 metre penalty that set up Matty Panos’ first goal of the final quarter, and then twice did stupid, undisciplined things which gave away shots on goal that Westies would almost certainly have converted. Clearly a young man with oodles of ability but he needs to mature fast.

  15. Simon Vanlint says

    Rulebook I especially liked the way you snuck Rankine into Norwood’s best players – spot on! He gave away the initial 25 metre penalty that set up Matty Panos’ first goal of the final quarter, and then twice did stupid, undisciplined things which gave away shots on goal that Westies would almost certainly have converted. Clearly a young man with oodles of ability but he needs to mature fast.

  16. James Redlegs says

    Great read as always Malcolm.
    I just feel when we play the corridor, we are unstoppable. This was evident in the last qtr yesterday. First hand on the footy and using the corridor broke Westies structures. We were also lucky the West player had a couple of brain fades. Our job is to continue to build on this momentum and push towards playing on Grand Final day.

  17. Hey Rulebook way to hard on Rankine should have been far higher in Norwood’s best players

  18. Campbell says

    Great write-up of the game! What a comeback it was from the Legs, a small margin but a massive win in context! Great win to get away from home.

  19. Martin Rumsby says

    Great analysis, Malcolm. Matty Panos’s last quarter was outstanding. A significant factor in turning things around was that Norwood started to win the centre clearances in the last quarter, something that hadn’t happened regularly in the first three quarters. As you have highlighted our lack of pace in the early stages of the match was concerning. Hopefully Anthony Wilson is not far away from returning to league footy.

  20. Panos was the difference and dominated that last quarter. I thought it was a coaching master piece not to rotate. Didn’t know he didn’t come off.

    Those frees in the last quarter , and the bounce of the ball , showed that the footy gods were looking after us. Made it even more enjoyable .

    Played the club song all the way home, but only after driving up and down Milner Street, with the windows down and the sound cranked up.

  21. An unbelievable win by Norwood at City Mazda Stadium that was not looking likely to happen at 3/4 time trailing by 27 but anything can happen in this game. The legs did not play their best in the first half and the 3rd term was only marred by kicking 2.7. The 4th term was outstanding. Did not expect scores to be level at the 11 minute mark. It was a great feeling to see Norwood win by a point like that. West Adelaide played well but did not do enough in the final term to hold on. Their accuracy after half time was outstanding to score only goals. With that win and Port beating Centrals, the gap between the top 5 and bottom 5 is a little wider but as of writing this still have 2 games to go. Sturt vs South will be huge at Unley and North should beat Glenelg. Norwood get the bays next week who will come off a 5 day break and would expect the legs to win that one. All current top 5 teams all play teams outside the top 5 the next 2 rounds so an excellent opportunity for the top 5 to show they belong there and any stuff up could be costly.

  22. Great article again. That last quarter was excellent. It was just wonderful to get the win, and by a point, left me needing some alcohol by the end LOL. But seriously, to fight back, after not so good three quarters, was just wonderful. I’m so proud of our guys. Heart beats true for the red and the blue. Sending best wishes to,Chris Grigg, as he fights this horrible MND.

  23. The Wrap says

    You haven’t brought in the Last Touch rule over there in the City of Light have you Rulebook? My blood ran cold when I heard sometime in the Summer Break that Steve Hocking was bringing it in at AFL level. What’s next? Off-side? Hologram Man already wants us playing on a rectangular field. Why don’t we just play with a round ball and be done with it?

  24. Thanks for a great wrap up Book! Definitely a huge comeback from 3rd quarter time and sounds like a very exciting game. Disappointing that poor discipline was part of the swing, but a great score line, always good to have a close finish.

  25. Great summary, Malcolm. Good to see the ‘Legs going well this season. An exciting comeback, but nothing tops1984 rd16 vs Torrens at Therbarton for me. 45 pts down 7 minutes into the last quarter. We got up to win by a goal! I was too young to appreciate 1978, which most would rate as the best ever.

  26. Harry Butler says

    I wasn’t at the game Rulebook but now feel like I was! Well done. The trap of course with stirring comeback wins like this is the temptation to forget why the comeback was necessary in the first place but I’m sure Cotts has this in hand.

  27. Graham Nelson says

    Great article i think Rankine will be a star and is worth the risk of a high draft pick

  28. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Simon yep extremely talented but is the word he must grow up and quickly.James our ball movement was certainly a lot better in the last q well said.Boomer touché well played.Campbell thank you.Martin Dawe last q was important and yes lifting in the centre square vital also,Panos last q one for the ages.
    Farm boy Nos came off after kicking his third goal of the last quarter and then the ball was stuck on the far side for a couple of minutes I admit I disagree totally with so much structure but realise it is a bloody hard job from the bench and yes the footy gods did smile on us in the last stanza.Cameron the battle for the double chance in particular will go down to the wire and the final five race needs a couple of upsets.
    Sonia great win and fantastic news in that Chris got engaged today.Wrap I DETEST the last touch rule the lack of thought of the consequences really pisses me off the plus 1 is in the corridor and trying to avoid them can mean this happens plenty of times I shake my head in disgust and bewilderment at it.
    Ben great comeback after the game we weren’t upset re the bloods lack of discipline.Hardman Greg Thomas with 4 goals coming off the bench,Kym Dillon twirling the ball above his head when there was a man free in the goal square is a honorary history maker great memories.Harry thank you and Cotts did address that immediately after the game.Graham I do know of one club who is happy that Rankine will be gone before there choice ( not a sa club ) and considers it vital that he goes to a club with a strong culture and good leadership it is up to him how far he goes thanks folks

  29. Incredible comeback by the Legs. Wins like these only galvanise the belief and passion the club current has about it’s fortunes this season. The only sour note appears to be the standard of umpiring in the SANFL – we’ll see how this develops en route to the Finals but I won’t hold my breath!

  30. Book how bout the umpires not noticing re the stretcher and allowing the game to continue complete lack of feel for the game.Accurate summary as always and totally agree in regards to Rankine

  31. Dave Brown says

    Just on the Panos interchange in the last quarter, he went to go off after kicking his second of the quarter but was told to stay on. He then kicked the next one and came off. I reckon it was reasonable – they made a gamble that paid off and then had the opportunity to give him a quick rest and get him back on for the last five minutes of the game. It’s one thing to bench a hot forward after a goal but absolutely necessary to give the midfielders a breather these days.

  32. Good read Malcolm, even though neither of the clubs involved were my club (looooooooooonnnnnng suffering Glenelg supporter here so not too many highlights of late. )

    Have to admit I’m not a fan of the last touch rule, it’s too big a penalty to give the opposition a free shot at goal if you are the last to touch it close to your defensive goals.

    (If they want to reduce the number of boundary throw ins, strictly penalise deliberate out of bounds. If they want to speed up the game, bring back 3rd man up rule and get the ball up or in quicker, no waiting to see if players are ready. )

    Think the discipline side with Rankine will come when he’s at a club with culture and discipline (guess that lets out Adelaide then because apparently we have no culture.) I think clubs will overlook his lapses because of the talent he has (Adelaide picked up Rory Atkins quite late in the draft cos he got kicked out of the academy I believe and he’s played some good footy for the club, just needs to do it consistently and in the high pressure games.)

    Cheers, Steve

  33. Luke Reynolds says

    Great report of what was no doubt a great win Malcolm.
    Totally agree with your thoughts on Neale Daniher as Australian of the Year. Should have already happened.

  34. Steve wood says

    Greta write up about the game again RB.
    Didn’t see it as I was away, but clearly a fantastic win.

    That’s really crap news about Chris Grigg, I went to high school with him and a few other lads that follow your writings.
    Shit things happen to really good people don’t they?

  35. Nice one Rulebook – always had a soft spot for the Redlegs. Well since Nick Duigan at least.

  36. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Paul exactly spot on.SR that was a complete lack of footy nous re the stretcher by the umpires and thank you.Dave I reckon the midfielder can go out of the centre square more than off the ground the 1 spot Westies wanted was Nos on the bench it was a friendly conversation about it afterwards helped by winning.Steve agree 1 million per cent re last touch and 3rd man up interestingly the exact words from a senior recruiter have been Rankine will want to go to a club with a v good culture and strong leadership.
    Luke thank you and yes I admit I am disappointed that Neale hasn’t already been Australian of the year.
    Steve yep Chris Grigg I reckon I met him in 1980 a quality footballer and even better bloke as I have told Chris there is a hell of a lot of love and best wishes out there for the Grigg family.Litza thank you I sent on your comment to Duigs I can see the sly grin on his face thank you folks

  37. Malcolm love the photos you include takes us in to the inner sanctum and how Andrew has been so warmly welcomed thank you

  38. Great post mate as usual

  39. Love a cliff hanger Malcom, in fact I love any game that has you sitting on the edge of your seat.

    Even better is your passion for writing…it exudes your love of the game and the forensic understanding of all that takes place on the ground.

    Your opening words ‘Norwood have come from the clouds’ drew me in right away.

  40. Great comeback wins like that can turn a season

  41. Walking back from our 3 qtr time huddle I knew we would win!!
    The next 3o minutes watching the Dawe, Panos and Glenn show were great fun!!
    Boy we belted that song out, and Andrew lead us well!!

  42. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Dennis thank you,Andrew has v quickly become a important part of the Norwood fabric.James thank you.
    Kate a compliment from a gun writer such as yourself is greatly appreciated.Raj v much so.Fester I admit I didn’t quite share your level of confidence at lemons time and geez we belted out its a grand old flag after the game it was funny,Andrew trying to get out of getting wet re the traditional shower for 1st win
    Redlegs player who was making his debut,James Siviour thank you

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