Sportsbeat - Friday June 1 2012

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Post by Admin on Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:07 pm

Weekly SANFL Previews from CK, as published in "Sportsbeat", available from many pubs and clubs:

South Adelaide v Norwood (Hickinbotham Oval) – Friday 7.40pm

The biggest hurdle in the way of the Panthers making finals, is their curiously poor form at home. This task will be made more difficult when they host the undefeated Norwood under lights this week.
There is no questioning the talent at South. One of the most potent midfields in the SANFL and an attack that is capable of kicking high scores when the ball is moved in quickly, but they seem to struggle to put this together for more than six consecutive quarters. Against the league benchmark, they will not be able to afford any lapses at all if they are to bring about the upset. The Redlegs are flying at the moment, and while they will certainly lose a game at some point this year, South would really have to be at the top of their game all night to be any sort of show in this one.

RADIO: Life FM

Tip: Norwood 25-36


West Adelaide v Woodville/West Torrens (City Mazda Stadium) – Saturday 2.10pm

The Eagles have finally hit their straps, winning their last two, but if they are to make a serious run at finals action, they really need to string more games together. Even their last win over Sturt two weeks back showed signs they are still struggling to put four quarters together. West cruised to a big win over South, in what may be an indicator they are gelling their tall forwards together in an ominous manner.

One of the bigger strengths of the Eagles is their defence, led by state defender Ben Greiger. When they are given space and latitude by an opposition attack that is not applying its own defensive pressure, they can spread and move the ball quickly from defence through the midfield. The Bloods forwards, therefore, will really need to ensure they are prepared to work on the counterattack themselves to lock the ball into the attacking zone and limit the run of the likes of Luke Jarrad and Phil Raymond if they are to set the tone for the game.

West should, in theory, hold the aces at home, but I suspect the Eagles may be ready to start their charge here.

TV: ABC-TV

Tip: Woodville/West Torrens 13-24



Sturt v Central District (Commander Centre Oval) – Saturday 2.10pm

While they sit second last on the ladder, Sturt have had some very promising moments this year where they show their best. Unfortunately, they still have a heavy reliance on AFL listed players at times, and while some of these players are more likely to see more SANFL action than AFL at present, they still need to be wary of hoping for too much from these players in case things change.

Central, sitting second on the ladder, look to be cruising quietly into their best form again at the right time of the year and look a genuine top three chance. Their ability to win the contested possession across all lines will be hard for Sturt to counter, particularly with their smaller bodies at times. The Bulldogs also look to have too many forward options for the Double Blues to contain for lengthy periods. Sturt have definitely improved in a number of key areas this year, but still not enough to knock over Central.

RADIO: 5RPH

Tip: Central District 37-48

Glenelg v North Adelaide (Gliderol Stadium) – Sunday 2.10pm

Despite fighting it out for a spot in the top five, two games separate the traditional rivals. North has had opportunities to consolidate a positive win-loss ratio, but still cough it up at times when moving forward. They also need to find a few more consistent midfield options outside of James Allan if they are to seriously push for a finals berth.

Glenelg are moving quietly along this season, and are moving forward from a couple of AFL related distractions to consolidate for a chance at a finals berth. They are playing an attractive brand of football that suits their current list, and are able to pull away again if challenged by the opposition. That said, they still need to be mindful of maintaining concentration. At times, they allow opponents to work their way back into games through dropping their guard for periods.

At home, they should have enough in hand here to gain a three game break on the Roosters.

RADIO: 5RPH

Tip: Glenelg 25-36


...as well as CK's weekly opinion piece, which looks at what to do with State Football for 2013 and beyond.
THE STATE FOOTBALL CONUNDRUM

Last Saturday, state football returned to South Australia for the first time since 2008. That year, SA rolled Victoria by 65 points in a major blow to the pride of our eastern neighbours. The last time Western Australia travelled here, in 2006, they travelled home as 17 point leaders, so South Australian pride rides high for these clashes.

The trend continued when the Croweaters knocked the Sandgropers over by 14 points, in the first interstate game on South Australian soil played at a suburban ground. Glenelg hosted the highly entertaining match, with Western Australia starting slowly before storming home in the last quarter. A number of AFL-experienced players, including former Fremantle and Collingwood forward Paul Medhurst and Simpson Medallist Paul Johnson, stepped up to the fore for the visitors and threw themselves wholeheartedly into the experience. As boundary rider for the ABC-TV coverage, I was fortunate enough to spend considerable time in the South Australian rooms pre-game and saw the immense enthusiasm from the players, coaching and support staff for the match. The opportunity for players to team up with highly respected opponents for one match of the year was seized and welcomed, with many speaking enthusiastically post-game about the thrill of being part of the event. The atmosphere in the rooms was one of celebration and excitement about the match.

Which is why the attendance of 2,843 was so disappointing overall. Part of this was due to both South Australian AFL teams playing on the same day, with Port live on TV against Gold Coast in the afternoon, and Adelaide hosting Collingwood in a sellout clash at AAMI Stadium that night. Many potential fans would have been absorbed in the fortunes of the two AFL teams, particularly with the weather forecast being for showers throughout the game. Part of the issue may have lay with the admission fee of $14. Granted, this is the same as that for a minor round SANFL game, but for a match where there would be very few fans for Western Australia present, the cost may well have kept some away.

Outside of the admission fee, the SANFL are to be commended for their role in promoting the contest. The initiative of replica state guernsies being printed on t-shirts for fans at only $10 was a masterstroke, and many fans waited at length for their chance to purchase one. There were plenty of media opportunities during the week to speak with coaches and players, and many media outlets correspondingly ran stories on the match in the lead-up. There really wasn’t much more that could be done to attract fans to the game.
Is playing interstate games during the season part of the issue? Magarey Medallists James Allan and Jade Sheedy both made themselves unavailable for selection, after being part of the initial squad, indicating they would prefer to concentrate on club football. If the game was played post-season, would this make players more willing to commit to the idea, or would it reduce the squad further, as holiday/post-season recovery plans would be thrown into disarray. Playing it pre-season would make player availability arguably less likely. The chance of a season ending injury before the first bounce of the regular season would be likely to see more players be unavailable for selection.

Maintaining the match timing for mid-season looks the only option, but then it comes down to how often the matches are played and at what venue. Currently, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania are regularly part of the state match rotation system as standalone states. The other states and territories combine into two separate teams to play a fixture against each other. The capacity is there for the four standalone teams to play each year, once every three years. Is it time to look at shifting the match either to a night fixture – ensuring it does not coincide with a match involving the two local AFL teams – and remaining at a suburban oval. The public have indicated many times, through attendance figures, that night football is embraced. The issue here lies in the ABC-TV agreement, where they are unable to show the game live at night, due to other programming commitments.

Is it time, then, to look at moving the game to a regional venue, such as Victor Harbor, to take the game to the country fans who may not get a chance to see the state’s best often, and having the local competition take their mid-season break at that time?




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Post by PhilH on Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:38 pm

Hi Chris,

Always enjoy reading your articles, any idea where I can pick up a copy in the Southern Area ... ie from Park Holme south to Morphett Vale
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Post by Lee on Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:30 pm

CK still has his doubts about the Bloods, so I'm hoping tomorrow might be the start of turning his opinion around (in a high scoring game, of course) Cool
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Post by The Emperor on Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:12 am

PhilH wrote:Hi Chris,

Always enjoy reading your articles, any idea where I can pick up a copy in the Southern Area ... ie from Park Holme south to Morphett Vale

detour via the morphett arms.
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Post by blacky on Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:13 am

wouldnt mine if they had them at the woody on a friday night
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Post by The Emperor on Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:14 am

Yes that would be nice, its as if they dont get delivered past darlington Sad
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Post by Strawb on Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:32 pm

Don't end up here in Victoria so us on the other side of the border miss out. Thanks to this site and CK for putting this up.
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