Desperate to atone for last year’s 40-point loss to the Sandgropers across the Nullarbor, the Croweaters responded positively in the second half after trailing by seven points at the main break.
Led by vice-captain Simon Berkefeld – who won the Barry Stringer Medal as SA’s best player – the hosts managed to restrict the visitors to just three behinds during the third term.
And while WA Country came hard with four goals in the final term, SA Country protected its lead valiantly in the dying stages of the contest to give coach Luke Duncan his first success since taking over from Steve Lubcke for the 2017 clash.
Experienced SA Country campaigner Xavier Watson also produced a strong showing to display why he was chosen as joint vice-captain with Berkefeld while former North Adelaide skipper Todd Miles led from the front in his role as SA Country captain.
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Ex-Roosters spearhead Darren Shillabeer was the only multiple goal kicker for the Croweaters, who spread the workload among nine goal scorers.
Not surprisingly, WA’s best performer was Sandover Medallist Rory O’Brien, with the ball magnet collecting the Terry House Medal to go with his team high three goals.
SA COUNTRY 3.4 4.7 7.12 10.12 (72)
WA COUNTRY 2.2 6.2 6.5 10.7 (67)
BEST – SA Country: Berkefeld, Watson, Miles, Hutchesson, Aisea Raikiwasa, Laurie.
WA Country: O’Brien, Outridge, Crichton, Andrews, Haydon, Langdon.
GOALS – SA Country: Shillabeer 2, Gallio, Davis, Rusca, Ellis, Berkefeld, Simounds, Laurie, Kemp.
WA Country: O’Brien 3, Holmes, Kohlmann 2, Crichton, Harvey, Forrest.
BARRY STRINGER MEDAL – Simon Berkefeld (Penola)
TERRY HOUSE MEDAL – Rory O’Brien