Norwood breaks a long drought and wins its first premiership for 12 years.
GRAND FINAL 1941
Venue: Adelaide Oval
Umpire: E.J.Hine Crowd: 30,742
1st 2nd 3rd Final Pts
Norwood 6-2 7-8 11-10 14-16 100
Sturt 2-3 2-8 5-9 10-11 71
Date 4 October 1941 Win by 29 points
Best: J Schmelzkopf, J Oatey, W McCallum, T Price, S Roads, P Bice, A Sawley,
K List, H Holmesby.
Goalkickers : W McCallum 4 J Oatey 3 K List 2 L Foweraker 2 W Allen 2
In a fast and brilliant game, well up to the standard of grand finals in recent years, Norwood convincingly defeated Sturt at the Adelaide Oval to win its first league premiership for 12 years.
A crowd of 30,742 – the biggest attendance at a league match since the war began – saw Norwood outplay its opponent in nearly every department of the game, completely reversing the second semi final result.
Aggressive from the start, Norwood played with a vigor that never allowed a Sturt drive to assume serious proportions, its free but fair use of hip and shoulder being a major factor in its victory.
Chief credit for the Norwood drive in the first half should go to the ruckman who continually sent Norwood into attack. McCallum was playing brilliantly, knocked out with great judgment, and when in the forward pocket market with unerring precision to kick 3 goals in the 1st quarter.
Not the least surprising feature of Norwood’s play was the manner in which Sturt forward thrusts collapsed against the rugged Norwood half back line where Seelenmeyer, Taylor and Lawrence were models of steadiness and consistency. At half time, Sturt swung many changes but they had little effect on the trend of the game, and Norwood never lost the psychological advantage of carrying the fight to its opponent. Norwood held control cross centre with wingmen Bice and Whittaker were superior.
Best on ground was Schmelzkopf, seemingly made of Indian rubber, and rucked brilliantly to be adjudged best on ground. He marked, kicked strongly, and did some remarkable leaping for the ball in the final quarter. Oatey was never out of the action and did some incredible things. This player is so quick thinking that some of his actions are even too quick for his team mates.
Apart from those two, there was hardly a player that didn’t deserve a mention. McCallum recaptured his Magarey Medal best form, whereas Price and Roads also played their part in the ruck. Bice showed great dash on the centre wing, and the half back line has already been mentioned.
Others to do well were Sawley (centre), List at full forward, Holmesby and Calder in the full back line, Foweraker and Hardiman whose cool generalship was always apparent.
After the match, captain Hardiman paid tribute to the 43 players called upon for the season, and to the efforts of coach, Perc McCallum. Hardiman remarked, “You may not be a team of champions, but you are a champion team”, drawing attention to the fact that not one player in the 1941 premiership team had been chosen to play Victoria in the state match earlier in the season.
From The Advertiser, 6 October 1941
Our team in the 1941 grand final was
Coach: F P McCallum
F J.Schmelzkopf K.List L.Foweraker
HF W.Allen K.Hardiman (c) D.Tugwell
C G.Whittaker A.Sawley P.Bice
HB J.Seelenmeyer S.Taylor G.Lawrence
B H.Holmesby R.Calder S.Roads
Followers W.McCallum T.Price J.Oatey