SANFL Second Semi Final – Norwood v Woodville West Torrens: Mitch Griggarey and the Legs win through to the big dance

On Wednesday night Mitch Grigg achieved the incredible feat of winning back to back Magarey Medals. The raw emotion of Mitch hugging his dad Chris was really a picture telling a thousand words ( The Medal, while a footy award, on the night paled into insignificance – it was about love and respect and having a monumental crack at the hands you’re dealt with. Thank you the Griggs (well done to James Fantasia and the NFC on having Chris attend the night. It really was special and if crying is good for you a hell of a lot of us had a healthy Wednesday night!).


Chris and Mitch Grigg with Mitch’s second Magarey Medal


On Saturday I went to watch Payneham play Goodwood Saints in SAAFL side. Ex-Redleg Kristian Roocke not long after I arrived hurt his knee. Super trainer Vicki asked me to help with the stretcher. It was confirmed today Kristian had, as suspected, torn his ACL – all the best Eric with your recovery.


I am reliably informed that the boys watching were entertained by my carrying off of Kristian. I tell you it is hard when you’re a hell of a lot taller with your stride walking. Chops Lamb reckons the way I was using my right arm I was a chance to take off re bloody flying carrying Kristian I can confirm he ain’t anorexic. Good to see self proclaimed spiritual leader of the club Tommy Turic wasn’t getting ahead of himself planning premiership celebrations when it was clear late in the last quarter that the Falcons were thru to this weeks preliminary final against Rostrevor Old Collegians.


Sunday started with Norwood Under 18s coming from seven goals down at half time against South Adelaide only to fall short by five points. Only some missed shots at goal and some poor discipline costing a shot at goal prevented a comeback win for the ages.


North Adelaide played some breathtaking footy in the first semi to defeat Sturt, ending the Blues’ hopes of a threepeat. Sturt had a dose of Anna Kournikova and were eliminated in straight sets while the Roosters are a huge chance in 2018.


Onto the league game, where the Norwood side chosen is a tad controversial with the omission of Luke Surman and Zac Richards and opting for a very small forward line.


Norwood opens well with the clean hands of Will Abbott (winner in 2017 of the most prestigious award in world sport the FA Bloch Medal) and skills of Matt Panos on display. Extreme pressure causes a turnover and Peter Bampton snaps the first goal of the game. Then the speed machine Anthony Wilson bursts through to kick the second goal of the game. The Legs miss a couple of chances then Ethan Haylock kicks the Eagles’ first through a turnover.


Abbott, Wilson and Bode in the rooms after the game


Really, from there till half time WWT are able to get the game on their terms, slowing it up in general. Further goals from Jack ‘Precocious’ Lukosius and Luke Thompson and the Redlegs played into their hands a bit. They are reactionary and not picking the correct time to try and pull the trigger and play fast footy. It really is a half of poor turnovers.


The first half is summed up by a error by WWT. Norwood about to run the ball clear only for a appalling umpiring decision by Mitchell Harris and then from the resultant free kick the Eagles player miskicks the ball and it is marked on the line by Brad McKenzie with no player from WWT in the goal square to compete. At half time it is the Eagles leading by seven points in a low scoring scrap which is just what they want.


The third quarter opens with a long goal from Lewis Johnston and then goals through the silk of Matt Panos, followed by a snap from Mitch Grigg (only a person with real power in their leg could have got the distance and pace of the kick required), the Redlegs threaten to run away with the game. But the Eagles fight back with goals from The Block’s Jared ‘Pup’ Petrenko and another through Jarrad Redden. Redden beats Sam Baulderstone in the ruck while Baulderstone does more around the ground.


The Redlegs on-ballers don’t really adjust enough and go a tad more defensive when Redden is clearly winning the tap. So at lemons time, the Redlegs only lead by four points, having blown several more chances for goals and with the Eagles to come home to the scoring end.


The last quarter is really a case of Norwood’s back six combing superbly. Michael Talia has come back seamlessly – remarkable that he had missed six games. Alex Georgiou, Mitch Wilkins, Matty Fuller, Jace Bode and Cam Shenton were justifiably proud of there collective effort after the game. The WWT defense is excellent also but it is the blistering speed and X-factor of Anthony Wilson which, with his two last quarter goals, prove the difference with the Redlegs running out 17 point winners.




For Norwood apart from the back six, Mitch Grigg certainly didn’t let the Magarey Medal win affect him at all (would be interesting to know Mitch’s metres gained). Matty Panos doesn’t fumble and was important as usual. What a boom recruit Will Abbott has been. Lewis Johnston lifted after half time. Ed Smart’s gut running and tackling was important also.



The Eagles’ best was James Boyd, geez, he works hard and accumulated plenty of the footy. Scott Lewis with his left foot running on the outside was good. Joseph Sinor at half back, on-ball Jared Petrenko, and Jarrad Redden with his hit outs to advantage. Luke Thompson was very effective down back (yes, sneaking forward for a goal). Jack Firns and Angus Poole also had their moments.


So the Redlegs progress to the big dance in a fortnight while the Eagles have to take on the rampaging Roosters in the preliminary final in what will be a intriguing battle of different styles of footy.


The Norwood reserves play Central District in the preliminary final in a vital game, not only to win but for several to push their case for league selection.





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  1. Good stuff, Rulebook, and well done Mitch. Gee that was a struggle yesterday. Eagles noticeably kicking the ball short until they got an overlap further down the ground. As you highlight, the discipline of the back six was vitally important if (McKenzie aside) their kicking left a bit to be desired at times (the Georgiou tiny shank right in front of us was hilarious).

    Baulderstone was outstanding around the ground, particularly in the last quarter. Almost went off my head as he was held out of every second ruck contest while they had a third man go up. The way he is treated by the umpires at times is nothing short of a disgrace.

    Another I thought worthy of mention was Matty Nunn. His work in the mids and in the contest was vitally important. Will be an interesting prelim this week – Sturt were a fair way off the pace this finals series, so it’s hard to get a read on the Roosters just yet.

  2. Good wrap up of the day Malcolm.

    “Rabs” Wilson was very special yesterday, providing some last quarter magic, along with other “nearly” highlights from a few players (love to see Smarty finish his hard work with a bit of polish!).

    Matty Nunn played well, with his attack on the contest. Love Shents closing speed in defence.

    Depending on next weeks outcome, I can see a few changes again in structure for the GF. The final selection meeting could be very interesting!

  3. Rabbs magic exactly what’s needed an he delivered
    Saw some at times very poor kicking an decision making…
    Outside the centre square looked shaky but within was a different story commanding the ball with assurance..

  4. Michael Rehn says

    Another great write up Malcolm. It was a tough and torrid encounter with almost nothing between the two sides, but Finals are won and lost with moments, some great, some not. Enter Anthony Wilson, whose whole game yesterday was a great moment. His electrifying run and superb finishing with four magnificent goals being the decisive factor. It was a great hard at it Redleg finals performance, with Mitch Grigg leading the way, showing just why, earlier in the week, he was awarded his second consecutive Magarey Medal. Our back six played real hard disciplined finals footy, Ed Smart was superb, and Sam Baulderstone triumphed against more than his fair share of opposition. A well deserved ticket to the 2018 SANFL Grand Final was a fitting reward for yesterday’s hard fought victory !!!

  5. Great write up.
    Finals are not always pretty but class under pressure came through at key moments yesterday.
    Can expect another really hard fought game in a fortnights time.

  6. Even though the Legs looked a little shaky in the second qtr they had Mitch Grigg to pull them through. RB are you a little nervous about the Rooster’s if they get to the GF?

  7. Mate you should call Sturts exit the Serena Williams. Looking forward to the big dance and the lead up on Coast Fm

  8. Great article RB. The mighty ‘Legs into another GF – was a tough game against WWT, and will be a tough GF whoever we play, but hopefully Thomas Seymour Hill is coming home to the Parade. Wilson’s magic and Grigg’s consistency were great, but the class of our back 6 was the difference IMO. “Forwards win matches, but defenders win trophies” – if our defense play’s like that in the GF and SB controls the ruck, it really will be a Grand Old 31st Flag for the Red and the Blue!

  9. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Dave ( for your help as well greatly appreciated) I thought,Bauldy was ok around the ground but was beaten in the ruck and wasn’t sure what to do with,Redden outbodying him and nor was our midfield may Be I marked,Nunny to hard( the ruck rules re umpiring is a area which has a huge lack of understanding inc by the vast majority of umpires ) Bill Rabbs was brilliant personally I didn’t think the move of leaving,Surman out worked overall.Shents v good in key moments outmarking,Lukosius in the last q crucial.Brent at times poor decision making and poor disposal let us down,Centre square work had some positives and negatives thank you

  10. Easy comment this week –
    “Job not done!!”

  11. David Butler says

    Thanks Rulebook. I couldn’t get to the game because of work but saw second half of the telecast. My view was skills/ disposal pretty average, with poor decision making at times going forward. Fantastic tackling/pressure though with a really well organized defence. (?bit like Richmond). I thought Johnson showed real class whenever around the footy and Grigg was terrific; both skillful and hard. As for Wilson, there’s no substitute for genuine electric pace is there? I’m not sure I’d sell the farm for Lukosius based on what I’ve seen in the 2 finals so far but I accept there are far better judges than me with much more research up their sleeves who will be making those decisions. Thanks again for your report. See you all at the big one!

  12. Martin Rumsby says

    I thought Ed Smart really set the tone early in the game with his chase and tackling. I counted at least five occasions where he was able to prevent the Eagles exiting our forward line. It’s a pity that his disposal skills don’t always match his effort. It will be interesting to watch how the Eagles match up against North and whether they can slow down North’s run and scoring. I’m just glad that we are straight through to the GF!

  13. Cameron Glenn says

    Another great win by Norwood and finally get a finals win, the first since 2014. They were not perfect but got the job done. They started well in the first and third terms plus that final term was great. Funny the southern end was the scoring end for the first 3/4 for both SANFL games and then the northern end was the scoring end in the last. Great to see Norwood in the GF and hope they go all the way. If they do first time with 4 premierships in a decade since the 1920s. Hope the reserves beat Centrals next week to make the reserves GF and a pity bout the u18s but so close. Much improvement over the board from 17 to 18. Go Legs!

  14. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I managed to trick my iPad into thinking my postcode started with a 5 yesterday and saw fair chunks of both games. How would the Roosters match up against Norwood?

  15. Mark Duffett says

    I never have heard why Centrals let James Boyd go. Not looking like a great move from the perspective of five years later.

  16. Willow Wilson says

    Nice work as always Book. I thought the back six were superb in what was a very torrid defensive affair. But some moments of brilliance from Wilson ended up being the difference. Hard to fault the Eagles who have been consistent finals performers but I think they are too defensive, you cant win too many finals scoring only in the 50s and 60s. Time for a new game plan?

  17. Great article again. To top off a great season, will be a grand final win, and we hold the cup high. Hope luke surman will be back. Heart beats true for the red and the blue

  18. Michael Charles Aish says

    Wonderful result. Great balance and understanding all over the deck.Looks like there is a great belief no matter what the circumstances Well done to Jarred and the rest of the team. One to go.

  19. Well done to Mitch Grigg on winning back-to-back Magareys and to the Redlegs for making the Grand Final. I was surprised to see Sturt go out in straight sets and will watch with interest to see if North can make it to the GF too.

  20. Another good article Malcolm which was spot on. Given we got beat in the ruck, the WWT midfield had control of Centre clearances for some decent periods and their defence played well, we really had to find a bit to get out with the win. That’s a great quality to have. Our back 6 (or 7 at times) were exceptional, as were LJ, Rabs, Shents and plenty of teammates including the less heralded Smarty, Will and Nunny. A lot of our work still to be done, but it can be ours if the boys deliver one more time.

  21. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Michael Rabbs was the X factor,Mitch excellent and as Martinpointed out,Ed Smart workrate and tackling sensational his disposal is his weakness at times I thought,Sam was beaten really hope he learns from it.
    Milts totally agree tough game with plenty of disposal errors and yep that extra bit of class was vital.
    Raf the roosters pace was always going to be v v dangerous on Ad oval in September geez love it to be raining gf day.Raj wow just wow that is up there with the greatest dummy spits of all time and yep,Coast fm to continue to have plenty of red and blue flavour,Will Abbott on thurs night.BG the backs as a group were justifiablely v happy as a group after the game hopefully,Tommy is coming home.Fester yep definitely.Harry I was thinking of Richmond with greater admiration leaving the game especially,Riewoldt organising there forward line while I understand why we left,Surman out I felt it didn’t really work lacked the kick long get out of jail card.,Bass said about 4 years ago,Willson is the quickest player he has seen I concur see you at the big dance.Martin it will be intriguing watching the styles contrast,Sunday and definitely.Cameron well said and some important stats pointed out.Swish well done and I think the roosters are a huge chance,Almond being suspended for the prelim hurts.Mark yes have never heard anything either certainly one of the best players in the comp thanks folks

  22. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Willow yes there game style can be questioned in 2 weeks time it may be written up as a masterstroke so leave it there at present Sonia selection will be interesting.Michael Charles Aish very formal this morning and well said ( hopefully I am annoying the crap out of you gf night singing the 2nd verse of our song )
    Paul thank you and all the best mate.JK our back line superb structure wise in the last q especially
    vital reserves game this week and plenty of nervous anticipation huge couple of weeks ahead thank you folks

  23. Good write up Mal,
    Great to see Mitch winning back to back medals.
    Norwood has a number of players the Magarey medal wouldn’t look out of place on.
    Job not done yet.

  24. Stan the Man says

    I gave up questioning team section since the Bassett years. Bass had the knack of pulling out the bunny for the hat and always made the right decision.
    But my concern was when Baulderstone went off the ground for a rest and Dawe went into the ruck…. gee Gerloff was the tallest player up fwd ?? The balance should have meant Panos or Shenton would drift up forward maybe ??? Maybe he is waiting for the GF to pull that one out of the hat – When we played a small fwd line remember it was Josh Glenn who straightened us up (8 gl vs CD). Too hard for Phillips to do it by himself as the leading fwd ??

  25. Pretty much spot on RB
    So pleased for Chris and Mitch.

    Saw the last half of North and geez they are quick.
    The Eagles will try to close them down next week and will hit them hard physically.
    Hopefully we got the rust out last Sunday.

    Go the Legs!!

  26. Great wrap up of the game, unfortunately didn’t get to see much of it, but a great result nevertheless. Mitch Grigg has been fantastic all year, well deserved!

  27. Malcolm Ashwood says

    River boy yep,Panos well and truly job definitely not done yet.Stan personally I didn’t think the balance worked especially when,Brady went on the ball while I totally understand the defensive pressure angle we lacked a forward to take a grab certainly points for and against,Glenn a huge out and to hard for,Flipper with so many numbers back.Steve the roosters pace a huge concern( got a song to play on the way to the gf ? ) Campbell thank you

  28. Gary Bennett says

    Gary Bennett says
    September 12th 2018 at 9:55 am

    Brilliant reporting of the match Malcolm. I just wish the boys would kick more accurately from set shots at goal. Also there were times the ball came out of our attacking area too easily. Thank heavens the back six were superb. If we had another top notch ruck man I reckon Baulderstone could make an outstanding centre half forward (remember Neil Button). Very pleased with the lads’ endevour and the tough match was just the thing needed to have the team primed for the big one. Go Legs.

  29. Great article as usual and Wilson was on fire also Mitch was solid again

  30. Love the celebrations and the acknowledgements OBP.
    You never know what’s around the corner.
    Well played Norwood, well played M Grigg.

  31. Luke Reynolds says

    Great report Malcolm, all the best to everyone involved at Norwood for the GF.
    Wonderful achievement by Mitch Grigg to win back to back Margarey’s, you portrayed the emotion of the occasion brilliantly.

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