SANFL Round 8 – Norwood returns to the winners circle: by Malcolm Rulebook Ashwood

Norwood returned to the winners circle after a couple of disappointing losses to easily account for West Adelaide by 53 pts in  a week in which the mid year draft  occurred.


I had been in Melbourne for work so I had been lucky enough to catch up with Neil Balme  on the Monday night after the draft.


Rule book with Neil Balme


I totally agree with Neil the draft being a great chance for the player, but yes he could see the problems for the other state leagues. It was great to catch up with Balmey who as always showed his love of the NFC. I will go harder than Balmey. IMO it is not treating the state leagues with the respect they deserve as they are very important competitions in their own right. While personally I think getting players to sign contracts so they won’t nominate for the pre season draft is pie in the sky. After all, it is effectively a job promotion and whether we like it or not, we are a feeder competition.  I am firmly of the opinion just to have the main draft.


We don’t have to copy every thing American, and the AFL don’t have to attempt to dominate the sports media coverage 366 days a year.  It was interesting to run in to a administrator from a different SANFL club on Saturday who sees the mid season draft as a useful recruiting tool trying to recruit players from Victoria. It was great to get a different perspective. West Adelaide have been hit massively losing Will Snelling to Essendon and John Noble to Collingwood so it was understandable to hear the Bloods supporters anger on Friday night.



The 1st quarter was an arm wrestle while Norwood looked slightly the better side, they were only up by 9pts at quarter time. The game was blown wide open in the 2nd quarter with Norwood kicking 7 goals straight to West Adelaide a solitary point. Sam Baulderstone got on top in ruck, Dom Barry with his run, carry and elusiveness was important. Brad McKenzie was brilliant in defence playing a slightly more offensive role than previously in 2019. How Brad wasn’t in the state side is one of life’s great mysteries. Cam Shenton mopped up down back and provided rebound.


Cam Taheny & Dylan Stephens


The Legs 2 gun youngsters in Cam Taheny with his X factor and athletic ability kicked 5 goals, and the running machine in Dylan Stephens were important, and they will be missed while they are off to represent the Croweaters in the state under 18 championships.  Good luck guys!


Anthony Wilson with his pace captures the excitement of the Redlegs faithful every time he goes near the footy. Cole Gerloff continues to grow as a SANFL league footballer, and with Wilson were too good for the Bloods defenders to both end up with 4 goals. Mitch Grigg had his moments of brilliance and accumulated plenty of touches.



The highlight of the game was the half time function when Norwood legend John Wynne, who had tossed the coin, was interviewed by Brenton Klaebe. When 28 speaks every one listens. You could have heard a pin drop, and trust me, this is not a normal occurrence. John is as caring and influential person as I have ever met in footy.  Even living in WA, he is The Godfather of the Legs.


The game after half time just meandered along. To Westies credit they fought the game out but Norwood were slightly disappointing not to put the foot on the throttle and have a huge percentage boosting win.


For the Bloods, Kaine Stevens and Brett Turner both worked hard and got plenty of the footy. Tom Keough had his moments, Patrick Fairlie showed a bit, Hugh Haysman competed strongly, tackled hard, and had an appetite for the contest. Erin Wasley-Black defended well, and Jono Beech was dangerous at times kicking 2 goals.


Special kudos to Josh Richards for making his league debut for Norwood and performed creditably. Josh had his struggles with injury in 2018 and getting a consistent game in the reserves, and he played several games for Payneham Norwood Union. In the crowd of 2,419 we reckon the Richards family only made up 2,400 overall, it was good to see the brothers Zac and Josh do the odd bit of waxing on the night.


Cooper Richards, Emma Bishop, Step Dad Grant Bishop, Zac Richards, Dad David Richards, Josh Richards and Sophie Owen. Then front left is Mackenzie and right Dexter Bishop.


So on to next week where Norwood take on South Adelaide at Noarlunga on the Queen’s Birthday holiday on the Monday when it will be one of the good guys of footy Brady Dawes 200th. Good luck Brady!  West Adelaide have to take on a relatively injury free Adelaide Crows Reserves side.


All photographs taken by Malcolm Ashwood except where noted.


Norwood 19-8-122 defeated West Adelaide 10-9-69


Norwood: C Taheny 5,A Wilson,C Gerloff 4,D Barry,S Baulderstone,D Hamilton,
L Johnston,Z Richards,J Richards
West Adelaide: J Beech,L Hupfield 2,A Anderson,N Osborn,K Stevens,B Turner,G Turner
M Waite


Best Players
Norwood: D Barry,B McKenzie,C Gerloff,C Shenton,C Taheny,D Stevens,S Baulderstone
M Grigg,A Wilson
West Adelaide: K Stevens,B Turner,T Keough,P Fairlie,J Beech,H Haysman,E Wasley-Black


Crowd: 2,419



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  1. Luke Reynolds says

    Totally agree on the mid-season draft, I think it’s unnecessary and as you say affects the state leagues enormously. But if it’s in place why wouldn’t any player nominate?

    Fantastic photo of you and Balmey.

    2,419 a pretty reasonable crowd on a cold winter Friday night at Norwood Oval?

  2. Bill Drodge says

    Well summed up Malcolm, as you haven’t said much about the 2nd half of the match. Very frustrating!

    Plenty has been said about the mid season draft. But given The AFL’s in-ability to admit mistakes have been made on anything they do, will ensure it’s here to stay.

  3. Michael Rehn says

    With the Port Adelaide game it was our most convincing performane all year, despite the absence of three first choice midfielders in Panos, Nunn and Abbott. I was very impressed with the way Cole Gerloff stepped up and was a key ingredient in our win. A massive test looms this week on the massive wind swept paddock at Noarlunga. Hopefully Brady Dawe’s 220 th will be a game to remember for him….on that big deck a couple of goals from contested grabs is always a bonus, plus a sound back-up so Sam Baulderstone can have a spell. Unfortunately Cameron Taheney and Dylan Stephens will be missed, not only because they have slotted so nicely into the team, but I very much enjoy watching their poise and silky skills in action. A great write up BTW Malcolm !!!

  4. Robert Allevi says

    To hear 28 speak at the before game dinner at martini’s and at half time was truely touching , 28 was feared on and off the field , but a gentleman he is ,his words not only choked him up , but all that listened , I had the pleasure to shake his hand after the Klaebe interview the tears in his eyes said it all .

  5. Cameron Glenn says

    Really great win by Norwood. Played well to win by 53 points and return to the winners list. They had a QTR time lead against the best first term side in the SANFL and then really dominated the second term. The last half was an even contest and sure Norwood could have put the foot on the pedal but getting the win in the end was the most important win.

    A shame bout the lowish crowd but bad luck to those who were not there and missed a Norwood win under lights at the parade.

    Some big away games coming up. South Adelaide not an easy one at Noarlunga these days but winnable but hopefully for Brady’s 200th the legs get up. Port no easy beat at Alberton either but if Port still have injury concerns by then, Norwood could get an easy win. Norwood fans should make the effort to get to both games for Brady’s 200th and to turn Alberton Oval red and blue.

    Go legs

  6. Being a North supporter I haven’t seen a lot of Taheny and Stephens. They sound like they might be lost to Norwood beyond just the U18 champs?.
    I’m sure David Richards (tarnished spooner) was very proud of his boys on Friday night. He’s a good man.

  7. Willow Wilson says

    Nice work Book, always take a 9 goal win but sounds like it could have been more. I agree with your sentiments on the mid-season draft, seems like an AFL gimmick, it will be very interesting to see how many of those picked up actually play games this year. Cant blame the players for wanting to go and have a crack at the “big time”. Great photo with Balmey, one of the very good men of footy.

  8. I suspect the mid-season draft is a precursor to a “full-blown” mid-season period where players will be traded and/or loaned to other teams – adopting the same approach as seen in competitions such as the EPL and in the NBA. Norwood v South will be an intriguing contest this Monday! Good work, Rulebook!

  9. Good write up Rulebook. It was a good night for footy. Thanks for letting Kai up to help. He’s used to your educating comments from the side line.

  10. Brilliant article Malcolm. How I wish I could have been there especially to hear 28 interviewed. Being unable to attend due to health issues, I really appreciate your wonderful articles about the club we love so much. Agree whole heartedly about your comments relating to the mid season draft. By the way, would you like me to mail my baseball book to you? Can hardly wait for your Wally Miller installment. Cheers

  11. Riverboy says

    Good stuff Mal,
    Gee you’re bloody everywhere mate!
    I’m with you on the mid season draft mate.
    Keep up the good work.

  12. Ray Hickingbottom says

    As always a good read.Re Afl mid season draft,great for the player,horrible for the state league clubs.I don’t believe it is needed and that it was done without consultation shows up the Afl’s arrogance.

  13. Craig Lewis says

    Ventured out to the Parade Friday night with some optimism knowing that we generally play well there even if that hasn’t translated into as many wins as we’d like. Add to that knowing Norwood’s midfield could be vulnerable especially without Panos and I was really looking forward to seeing how Andre Parella would shape up again the Norwood ruckmen.

    Felt we needed to start well and landing the quick early goal was positive before it became a good arm wrestle. As we have all year we turned the ball over more than the opposition except this time it probably came back to hurt early as we finished the quarter slightly behind.

    Second quarter showed the importance of ruck work and winning the centre square as Norwood kicked 7 goal straight to Westies 1 point. Most of these scoring opportunities coming directly from center clearances or stoppages around play. Our set ups, usually pretty good this year became very slack that quarter which led me to blast our midfield after watching Grigg play on the attacking side without an opponent remotely within arms length of him. Two hitouts directly to him and he found the goal square easily enough for Norwood to kick two easy goals in a row and show the difference in mentality between the sides at that point.

    Third and fourth quarters were pleasing to watch with Parella and our midfield getting more of it again showing that we’re still here to play and improve. Winning that third quarter on the scoreboard was important for teams who are in the position we’re in this year and only poor kicking directly in front of goal cost us taking home the fourth quarter as well.

    Once again Westies payed the price for not playing four quaters of football while showing our best football is competitive. Even with that third quarter brain fade we still managed to win the clearances and get enough of the ball in our forward line to be dangerous. Again we showed that during play we can defensively control the corridor forcing the opposition to chip it around until they can find away out of either their defensive 50 or as they try to push forward into attacking 50.

    Still a mix of good and bad there for the Bloods but definitely left the Parade feeling pumped and ready for next week

  14. Dave Brown says

    Nice of you not to mention Brady’s air swing from the goal square Rulebook. I was tucked up on the couch with another old man leg injury watching online and almost spat out my glass of very pleasant red with laughter. Not many get to 200 in the SANFL anymore so that is a very impressive milestone for him.

    West Adelaide have every right to be filthy with the mid season draft. It is not about the players, of course every club wishes the best for their players. But to lose players for virtually no compensation reflects the disdain with which the AFL treats footy at other levels. The league thinks that it is bigger than the game whereas it is merely the fattened leech, hanging from its backside.

    Thought the game had some very poor passages of play with multiple turnovers from both sides, but gratified to get the two points and move seven games clear of North. Young Taheny very impressive.

  15. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Luke there has been suggestions that clubs will try and get players to sign contracts that they won’t nominate for the mid season draft personally totally opposed to that line of thought,I thought it was a reasonable crowd re the weather and the bloods haven’t got a huge supporter base great to catch up with,Balmey so down to earth and no crap.Bill unfortunately I have to agree re the draft.Michael I thought it was,Cole Gerloffs most complete league performance big game,Monday vital for the double chance,Cam and Dylan are big outs
    thank you greatly appreciated.Rob love,28 just so genuine I rang him when in the rooms after the game and it was vintage saying he had to rush,Pratty home for his medication I was pissing myself laughing.Cameron I admit with how cold it was I was pleasantly surprised re the crowd and yes we need supporters turning up big time overall.Charlie both will be reasonably high draft choices,David looked quietly satisfied after the game.Willow yep nothing against the players wanting to have a crack at the elite level v much a gimmick it has astounded me how some people are saying the Sanfl recruiting from community footy and the country is the same what a load of garbage a couple of people showed they have no idea what so ever.Paul apparently its v complicated re contract wise and salary cap from transferring with in sure there trying to work there way around it and it makes more sense than damage the state leagues.Raf glad,Kai enjoyed it he has had me coach him at sports camps so yep used to me.Fisho thank you and will contact you tomorrow,28 was brilliant as well.Riverboy thank you.Ray the arrogance and incompetence of the afl never surprises bitterly disappointing organisation in so many ways.Craig love your passion for the bloods and the Sanfl in general great to learn more about the bloods players thank you.Dave it wasn’t,Brady’s finest moment totally agree re the afl,Taheny huge X factor thanks folks

  16. Tim Wedding says

    I am somewhat pleased with where the redlegs are at, haven’t peaked too early and just doing enough to win. Having said that, it is frustrating when you prime yourself for a huge last quarter slaughter, and it never happens. Is always great to see John Wynne at the club. A champion player and a champion bloke. I love Friday nights at coopers stadium, my second home.

  17. Chris Brown says

    Just a thought about the mid season draft – if AFL clubs had to delist a player and trade them to a state league club in return for drafting a state league player it might be more balanced overall. I can’t imagine AFL players would like to be traded down though but the concept puts things in a more balanced perspective!

  18. Solid as always Book.

  19. Campbell says

    Good to get the season back on track after a few poor losses! Great article again!

  20. Wayne Schmaal says

    Well done Mal, again the draft displays contempt for all leagues below them the boys club they have built at the AFL will always look after the bank balances.

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