The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 4 – Adelaide v Sydney: A difficult game for tipsters!

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!


Adelaide versus Sydney

7.10pm, Saturday, April 21

AAMI Stadium, Adelaide




After a confusing first round when Sydney lost to West Coast by one point and Adelaide lost to Essendon by five goals, both teams had two wins under their belts Richmond and Brisbane for Sydney, and the Dogs and Port for Adelaide. That hadnt told us much.


Both teams like to close their opposition down. Both have age and wisdom within their ranks, both have dare and flourish. Both teams have superb tactical coaches who are loved by their players.


I wanted Adelaide to win, so I tipped Sydney and bet on them with that reverse logic that punters often use. Whatever happened, I thought, I will not walk away from this one empty-handed.


This game was as close to mini-league or primary-school football as the AFL can dare to go. At the centre bounces, the wings and flanks moved in faster than normal, to create the unsavoury spectacle of 24 grown men arguing in the middle of the ground and often with little resolution of the problem.


Often the umpires tried to free-kick the game out of its central gridlock and you could almost hear them saying: Come on, boys. Go back to your positions. Open it up and everyone will get a kick.


When the ball broke free and moved forward, so did most of the players in classic mini-league fashion. For many moments in this game, all 36 players were in one quarter of the oval. Such a dour contest could have become a featureless draw but the reverse was the case.


In the first half, Adelaide excelled with superb breakaway football closing the contest down until the ball slipped out or a free was won and then using lightning speed and slick skills to find their forward targets. When Sydney won possession in defence, they passed the ball sideways, waiting for a magical path to Barry Hall and Michael OLoughlin to emerge. That delay enabled Adelaide to zone up quickly. When Sydney eventually did move forward, the methodical Adelaide defence, one of the tightest in the competition, restricted Sydney to one goal in three quarters.


One indication of Adelaides method is that, apart from two rushed behinds and a Tyson Edwards snap at goal, Adelaides other 13 scores were from set shots, from either frees or marks. This team lacks forward strength at the ground level. It needs the defence to deliver with precision and they often stumble when other teams work this out.


Sydney worked it out, but they couldnt stop that beautiful old thief, Andrew McLeod, nor the running young colts, Scott Thompson, Brent Reilly and Nathan van Berlo.


At half-time, Adelaide were four goals up. The bookies had Sydney at $4.50 to win, which was ridiculous. Sydney were only five minutes out of the game.

I invested more money on them, not only to ensure Adelaides victory, but also to bring the game alive.


Sydney straightened up in the third quarter, stopped chipping it around and ran through the middle. Ryan OKeefe and Jude Bolton continued to roam wide for their kicks and Brett Kirk and Adam Goodes lifted. More importantly, Hall took Ben Rutten on dummy leads, opening up the attack for a goal to OLoughlin and two quick ones to Darren Jolly. At the 11-minute mark, Sydney was only eight points out of it. Adelaide played seven minutes of tempo footy and the crowd booed. A goal from a Brett Burton hanger made them happy, although a quick reply from OLoughlin shut them up. The Adelaide crowd is a weird mob.


Sydney scored four of its five goals in that third quarter and looked as if they could take the game. In the second minute of the last quarter, Amon Buchanan tripped over a teammate, wrenching his knee. He had been a fiery midfielder all night. It was the sort of blow that Paul Roos did not need.


Adelaides superior fitness, its ability to stay on its feet in the last quarter in the slippery dew, and one key goal from Ian Perrie at the six-minute mark was enough to seal the game.


Adelaide 3.2 6.5 8.6 9.7 (61)

Sydney 0.4 1.6 5.10 5.14 (44)



Adelaide: Burton 3; Welsh 2; Bock, Perrie, Edwards, Porplyzia.

Sydney: OLoughlin, Jolly 2; Hall.



Adelaide: McLeod, Thompson, Edwards, Rutten, Reilly, Goodwin, Doughty, Perrie.
Sydney: OKeefe, J. Bolton, Kennelly, Kirk, Buchanan, Malceski.



Barry (Sydney) 200 games.



Donlon, Rosebury, McInerney.





McLeod (A) 3, Thompson (A) 2, OKeefe (S) 1.



McLeod (A) 3, Rutten (A) 2, Bolton (S) 1.



For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


If you want a printed copy of the 2007 edition of the Footy Almanac, they can be purchased here.



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