Round 19 2006

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THE Tigers are on the march to this year's finals after their fifth consecutive victory – by a massive 98 points against an inept Sturt at Unley Oval last Saturday.

Glenelg is now in third position with 10 wins and seven losses and its recent good form must be of concern to the other finals contenders.

But the Tigers only played eighth-ranked Sturt, a team down on confidence and personnel last Saturday and their real test will come in the next few games.

Glenelg will meet North at the Bay and Central at Elizabeth in the next two games before a bye.

The Roosters and the Bulldogs, who are both aiming to contest the finals, will present a tough challenge for the Tigers.

These are the type of games Glenelg needs to win to be regarded as a serious premiership threat.

Buoyed by their recent good form, the Tigers began in fine style against the Double Blues last Saturday.

The game was over as a contest at quarter-time when Glenelg had a matchwinning 49-point lead after nine goals to one in the opening term.

The Sturt defence had no answer to the onslaught from the Tigers, who played scintillating football.

The lead was reduced to 47 points at half-time but the Tigers exploded in the second half to score 14 goals to six for a percentage-boosting victory.

Glenelg had lost seven consecutive games against Sturt and its previous win was in round 10 of 2003 at Unley.

The Tigers had winners all over the ground against the Double Blues and such was the dominance that 15 players scored goals.

The goalkicking was led by Matthew Duldig and Ruory Kirkby, who scored a total of 10 goals between them.

They formed a dangerous two-pronged attack that Sturt was unable to control and they were given plenty of opportunities by the Glenelg midfield and defence.

Best afield was the indefagitable Brett Backwell, who had 25 kicks and seven handpasses in another impressive display. He ran a series of opponents ragged and they included veteran Tim Weatherald and 19-year-old Port listed Ben Eckermann, complete with headgear.

Backwell received great support from Justin McConnell, David Mitchell and Bryce Gibbs.

Gibbs always seems to have so much time to dispose of the ball with good effect either by hand or foot and he brings so many of his teammates into the game.

Ty Allen and Brad Yeomans also deserve praise for curbing the influence of Sturt's prolific kickwinner Jade Sheedy.

They won plenty of the ball themselves and Sheedy did not have his usual high number of possessions.

Defenders Ryan Willits and Luke Panozzo restricted their Sturt opponents and were part of an outstanding team effort by Glenelg.

The only low point of the game for the Tigers was when reliable full back Paul Sherwood was carried off on a stretcher with a strained neck after an accidental collision with an opponent.

After the bye, Glenelg will finish the minor round against another finals contender South at Adelaide Oval and this game also will indicate whether the Tigers have a good chance in this year's finals.

SCORES: Glenelg 9.2 12.8 19.12 26.17 (173) defeated Sturt 1.1 5.3 8.7 11.9 (75).

BEST: Glenelg - Backwell, McConnell, Mitchell, Duldig, Kirkby, Allen, Gibbs, Cranston, Yeomans; Sturt - Hurley, Chambers, Button, O'Keefe, McLeay, Feast.

GOALS: Glenelg - Duldig, Kirkby 5, McConnell, Douglas, Graham 2, Kirk, Smith, Backwell, Gibbs, Allen, Yeomans, Willits, Mitchell, Hinge, Ruwoldt; Sturt - Chambers 4, Button 3, Davies, Hurley, McLeay, Taylor.

See also: 2006


1. Rob Bidmeade article

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