Match Reports

Tigers book semi final spot with win over Sturt

Finals had arrived, spring was in the air and it was great to be at Adelaide Oval, with the ground looking fantastic. It was a tricky day with the wind, but we were ready for the contest against Sturt.

The first quarter started like we thought it would. It was a fairly contested game with both sides hard at it, but I was impressed with the way we were able to wrestle the momentum after Sturt kicked a couple of early goals. We capitalised on some opportunities going into the breeze and restricted Sturt to only three shots from their 14 entries. Cooper Horsnell kicked the first goal for the game for us with a clever snap on the left foot from the pocket, which was really pleasing to see. We went into quarter time with the scores level, and I was happy with the way we were moving the footy and with the way we were going about it defensively, not allowing Sturt to play their game.

During the second quarter though we probably went away from the game a little bit. We spent too much time kicking the ball long to outnumber in our forward line and allow Sturt some uncontested marks inside our D50 which hurt us a little bit. But we still managed to go into the half time break eight points up after capitalising on a couple of opportunities in the forward line. It was good to see Matt Allen having a real impact and Matty Snook at the contest winning some clearances. Even though we were getting beaten there, I thought his ability to get his hands on the ball first was helping us. Toby Pink down back was also starting to take control of the back line with Max Proud.

At half time we talked about repeating our first quarter effort in the third, and Alex Martini managed to kick a goal 90 seconds into the quarter (his first for the year!) which put us 14-points up. From there, it was a matter of maintaining that position. I was pleased with the way we went about it – our ball use was good, and we continued to defend really well and not allow Sturt to get around us and go coast to coast, which was the focus for us pregame. Although, we did waste some opportunities and we probably could have been a bit further up. We had a couple more inside 50s in the third quarter and lacked composure there, but our tackle pressure was good and our pressure around the contest was great, with Cole Gerloff’s physicality and toughness in this area particularly standing out. So while Sturt did get one back, Cooper Horsnell kicked another clutch goal for us late in the third quarter, which was really important, and this put us up 14-points at three quarter time.

Going into last quarter we knew the breeze was going to play a factor for us. Sturt came out strong and kicked the first goal, and from then on it was a bit of goal for goal. We were losing clearances and so we had to adjust things around that, which helped. We kicked the ball to grass a few times and got out the back, which was good reward for our forwards that had worked really hard all day. Reyno got the end of one and Hosie got the end of another earlier on, so it was pleasing to see that happen. And it was great to take out the game like we did and bring home the win for Andrew Bradley in his 200th SANFL game.

Thanks to all our supporters that turned up. It was great to hear the roar from the crowd and we look forward to seeing you again this Sunday at Adelaide Oval when we take on Norwood. They had a tough game on Sunday against the Crows, but I’m sure they’ll bounce back and they’ll be a good challenge for us.

– Brett Hand, Senior Coach

Goal kickers: C. Horsnell (2), M. Allen, L. Hosie, A. Martini, H. Stagg, L. Reynolds, L. McBean