PREMIERSHIP hopefuls Tanunda produced a dominant display in the opening round of the Barossa, Light & Gawler A-grade football season, thrashing South Gawler by 87 points.
The Magpies’ strong off-season recruitment push certainly showed, with big name recruits Dean Terlich, Riley McFarlane, Darcy Hamon and Matt Prior all playing key roles in a strong first-up showing for their new club.
The game was level throughout the opening 15 minutes, with the Magpies leading by a goal early on.
Lions debutant Jacob Pearson equalised for his side, but Tanunda put on five unanswered goals thereafter to lead by 32 points at the first change.
Tom Schiller was prominent early with two first-quarter goals, starring in his brother Ben’s absence, who missed due to a recent hernia operation.
The Magpies’ dominance continued into the second term, with Josh Trembath leading the way with five goals in the quarter alone.
South’s undermanned defence was not helped by Nick White being unavailable, who would have manned Trembath.
The team’s day got worse as Tim Hines went down with an ankle injury just before half-time.
The Lions trailed by 79 points at the main break, with Tanunda dominating every area of the game.
While South kicked four goals to one in the third term, it didn’t take long for the Magpies respond in the last quarter and kick away to a commanding victory.
Tanunda’s Angus Kurtze had a brilliant game in the ruck, and pushed forward to kick two last-quarter goals – finishing with four for the day.
“We’re disappointed, we didn’t expect to get belted by 80 points,” South coach Chad O’Sullivan said.
“We were second to the ball, we weren’t clean enough when we went forward, and we turned it over.
“They are a very good team, they use the ball well, they were a lot harder and they seemed very well structured up there.
“We can’t take away too many positives…nothing worked our way.”
Tanunda playing-coach Dean Terlich was delighted with his side’s start to the season.
“I’m very happy; obviously, we had to win, that was the main goal for the day,” he said.
“Riley McFarlane in his first game for the club was really good, Angus Kurtze sneaking forward and kicking four as the ruckman was really important.
“Leigh Westhoff was great too, he’s an old fella now, but he’s still got it.”