Tag: Demi Sonneman

2021 SANFLW team review: Central District

IN summarising the 2021 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season, Draft Central will run through a team-by-team review of how each of the sides fared, and who some of the standout performers throughout the clubs were. The next team in the firing line is Central District.

Position: 6th
Wins: 4
Losses: 7
Draws: 0
Points For: 385 (1st)
Points Against: 337 (5th)

Season in a Sentence: “Regardless of ladder position, Central District’s flair and exciting play to be the top offensive team in the competition had them in the mix for finals right up until Round 11”

TOP PERFORMERS:

Shelby Smith

The captain led from the front all season and was able to provide her consistent intent and clearance work from the start, picking up double-figure disposals in all bar one of her games. She amassed four or more clearances in her first four matches of the season, and was able to also get it forward to create scoring opportunities. Games are won and lost in the midfield, and Smith averaged 15.5 disposals, 6.8 tackles, 3.2 clearances and 2.4 inside 50s in the 2021 season, earning SANFL Women’s Team of the Year honours.

Chantel Reynolds

Having a huge season at full-forward, Reynolds was the SANFL Women’s leading goalkicker for the 2021 season. She booted 14 goals in her 11 games, making the most of her 8.2 disposals and 3.0 marks. Only once was she held goalless, and four times she kicked multiple majors. Kicking three goals against both Woodville-West Torrens and West Adelaide, as well as two against North Adelaide and Glenelg, Reynolds was consistently a threat inside 50, particularly as a leading aerial target and one who could be relied upon to finish off. She kicked just five behinds for her 14 goals, three of which came in the loss to South Adelaide, but otherwise kicked 13.2 for the season.

Katelyn Rosenzweig

Reynolds’ form allowed Rosenzweig to play further up the ground and be a leading target right up to the wing or even further on occasion. Leading the league in contested marks, the talented strong forward was able to play 11 games and still convert 11 goals herself. Averaging 11.6 disposals, 3.8 marks, 2.0 tackles, 1.7 inside 50s and 1.5 clearances, Rosenzweig worked hard in 2021 to have an impact further afield, and was a key reason why the Bulldogs improved this year. A third player to earn SANFL Women’s Team of the Year honours

Caitlen Teague

After the three Team of the Year players, any number of even contributors could have filled the fourth spot on this list, but Teague’s start to the season had her among the most in-form midfielders in the competition. From Rounds 1-5 she did not drop below 13 touches, and whilst her numbers were a little lower in the second half of the season, she still remained a key player in moving the ball in transition. Teague finished with an average of 11.8 disposals, 3.9 tackles, 2.4 inside 50s and 2.2 clearances, disposing of it at a healthy 73 per cent.

OTHERS:

Central District had no shortage of talent across the field, with State Academy members Lauren Breguet, Laitiah Huynh and Madison Lane all enjoying strong seasons. Lauren Smith and Paige Allen were consistent, Demi Sonneman and Nicole Mark rock solid in defence, and Chloe Scheer adding that touch of class in the final month, in what was a terrific season of improvement for the Bulldogs.

Picture credit: SANFL / Cory Sutton

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 8 preview: State Academy, AFLW talents return in massive round of action

SOME huge ins at the selection table across all eight teams means the intensity and quality of matches will lift from Round 8 onwards, as the State Academy members and some AFL Women’s players return to their state league clubs.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. WWT EAGLES
Saturday, April 24 @ 11:30am
Prospect Oval

North Adelaide will celebrate Leah Tynan‘s 50th game in the competition against Woodville-West Torrens, welcoming back State Academy members Amelie Borg, Kate Case and Julia Clark, as well as Lauren Gauci among six inclusions, whilst Talia Radan is the crucial loss, out with a back injury. The Eagles have a number of forced changes, with Audrey Holt, Lili Gambranis, Marlie Fiegert and Samantha Hoogeveen-Hill all unavailable. Coming back into the side are the likes of State Academy duo, Jamie Parish and Charlotte Dolan, as well as AFL Women’s talent Renee Forth. Both sides inclusions are huge, and plenty on the line with the Roosters sitting a point inside the eight thanks to their draw, but also a win off the bottom of the table. Lose to the Eagles, and the reigning premiers will slip outside the finals spots. Brianna Arthur had an outstanding game in the midfield last week, and with Leah Tynan and Jamie Tabb taking on the likes of Forth, Shineah Goody and Anastasia Falkenberg, the clearance battle will be an important one to win for both sides.

GLENELG vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, April 24 @ 4:40pm
ACH Group Stadium

Coming off a hard-fought win over Central District last week to secure their place in second spot, the Bays now host a South Adelaide team that will load up on talent – but also lose a number of top players at the same time – in what is a top three clash. The home team will bring back State Academy members Brooke Tonon and Tamsyn Morriss, as well as ruck, Molly Affolter, with only Tess Morcom out with injury. Whilst Glenelg has minimal changes, the Panthers have made eight selection moves, with the likes of Czenya Cavouras and Tahlia Meyer out of the side for this round, but plenty of star power coming back in. AFL Women’s-listed players Lisa Whiteley and Montana McKinnon, and State Academy members Gypsy Schirmer, Tahlita Buethke and Lauren Clifton all come back into the side in what is a crucial game for the Panthers. A win will see them grab second as they head for home with their talents filtering back in, and the likes of Jaslynne Smith and Nicole Campbell in terrific form. Jorja Hooper is developing nicely up forward, while Brianna Wedding has been a rock in defence. For the Bays, Ellie Kellock, Jess Bates and Tessa Kohn remain consistent each week, while Sam Franson and Madisyn Freeman are others who can turn a game.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. NORWOOD
Saturday, April 24 @ 3:40pm
Hisense Stadium

An absolute blockbuster game between the top of the table Norwood and arguably the strongest West Adelaide side of the season presents the Hisense Stadium clash as the game of the round. The Redlegs have exchanged State Academy members with Jade Halfpenny returning to the side for Jess Williams in what will be Leah Cutting‘s 50th game. The ruck has been in sensational form this year, and she has been named forward to share the role with Elizabeth Drake. West Adelaide on the other hand have brought in some of the elite talents in State MVP from the AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships, Lauren Young, as well as fellow Academy members Zoe Venning and Scarlett Griffiths, and Abbie Ballard who returns for her first game of the season off a long-term injury layoff. Add in AFL Women’s talents in Ailish Considine and Chelsea Biddell, and tall target Melanie Elsegood, and the Bloods have stocked up this week. Louella McCarthy and Gretel Ramsey are among the outs for the match, but with Sarah Dargan joining Young and Considine in the middle, the Bloods have a stacked side. The Redlegs still have talent across the board that has led them to the top of the table, The midfield featuring Sophie Armitstead, Jess Macolino and Elisha Gallagher, as well as Morgan Johnston and Lana Schwerdt, will be a tough one to beat, with Sarah Branford another talented teenager ready to impact in this huge match.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. STURT
Saturday, April 24 @ 7:30pm
Tanunda Oval

The final match of the round in a prime time Saturday night fixture is Central District up against Sturt, with the sides in the bottom four, but one win – and favourable results – will see the winner leap into the top four such is the evenness of the competition. The Bulldogs in particular have a massive chance given their percentage is the second highest in the league. Sturt has a lower percentage, but a win would certainly see them jump past at least one – if not two or three sides. Central District has kept the cards close to the chest, including four players on an extended bench with the trio of State Academy members – Laitiah Huynh, Lauren Breguet and Madison Lane all returning, as well as AFL Women’s representative Chloe Scheer. The Double Blues lose Lucy Griffith to concussion and Amy Brooks-Birve to a knee injury, but have added four players to the side, including a trio of State Academy members themselves in Zoe Prowse, Hannah Prenzler and Alex Ballard. This matchup is all about offence taking on defence, with the Double Blues defensive set up, often featuring Prenzler and Ballard – though both have been named up forward on this occasion – as well as captain Maya Rigter, whilst the Central attack is the most exciting in the competition, with Huynh, Breguet and Scheer roaming to leading goalkicking talents Chantel Reynolds and Katelyn Rosenzweig. Lane and Demi Sonneman up the other end provide the run, with Shelby Smith, Lauren Smith and Caitlen Teague roving to Isabelle Starmer forming a strong midfield core. The battle of the midfields will be fascinating, with Jess Good in ripping form in the ruck, alongside Alisha Gepp, Isobel Kuiper and Jaimee Wittervan onball, while Nicole Baker and Chloe Forby flank Prowse on the forward line.

Picture credit: SANFL / Cory Sutton

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 5 preview: Changes galore with State Academy players out

THERE was carnage in a good way at the selection table for the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s teams, as their most talented youth prospects departed to represent their state at the AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships on Sunday.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Friday, March 26 @ 7:00pm
Flinders University Stadium

The second grand final rematch of the 2020 SANFL Women’s finale has the two sides with very different lineups to last year’s decider. On top of the host of players returning or entering the AFL Women’s competition, both teams have plenty of State Academy members who are out for their clash with Western Australia. South Adelaide lose Gypsy Schirmer, Tahlita Buethke and Lauren Clifton to the match, with North’s Kate Case, Julia Clark, Jorja Eldridge and Amelie Borg also out of the game. Both teams receive some talented reinforcements with Lisa Whiteley, Madison Bennett and Tiffany Copley among the ins for the Panthers, while Kelly Barltrop and Lauren Daniel join four new players – including former Panther Emogen Johnson – in their starting side.

The Roosters defence still has the twin talls in Kristi Harvey and Talia Radan, as well as Erin Sundstrom, whilst Jaimi Tabb played her best game of the season last week, and will match it with the likes of Czenya Cavouras and Nicole Campbell in there. Montana McKinnon is in red-hot form and will be tipped to continue that against the Roosters, as the forward duo of Jorja Hooper and Jess Kirk will be looking to apply more scoreboard pressure in this one. North Adelaide would be confident of bouncing back, though the Panthers still have a really strong midfield – including State Academy emergency Sarah Wright – and could take control there.

STURT vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS EAGLES
Saturday, March 27 @ 10.40am
X Convenience Oval

Kicking off a double-header at X Convenience Oval, the 1-3 Sturt take on the in-form Woodville-West Torrens Eagles in what could make history for the visitors. The Eagles only won two games in their second season last year – after going winless in year one – and could be eyeing off a remarkable third straight victory if they can topple the last placed Sturt. They will need to do it without a host of talents including State Academy members Charlotte Dolan and Jamie Parish, as well as Zahn Anthony and Stephanie Walker. Sturt have even more outs due to the Academy game, with the Double Blues’ football factory of Alex Ballard, Georgia Swan, Hannah Prenzler and star ruck Zoe Prowse all out of the team, as well as captain Maya Rigter with a knee injury.

It will give plenty a players a chance to step up, with the likes of Sarah Wallace and Millie McCarthy new faces. Ella Vitucci is the sole new face to the Eagles’ outfit, though Renee Forth returns for some extra experience, as does young gun Jaida Tabb from injury. Jess Good will need to step up again in her second game, taking on another secondary ruck for her side in Amie Blanden. Both have great talent and will thrive on the opportunity, whilst the likes of Alisha Gepp and Shineah Goody will go head-to-head in an awesome young battle through the middle. Jess Sedunary and Forth add that AFL Women’s experience for the Eagles, while Sturt will have to shuffle around the backline and hope the midfield of Isobel Kuiper and Elsie Dawes can control the tempo.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Saturday, March 27 @ 12:25pm
X Convenience Oval

West Adelaide will look to snap a two-game losing streak when it comes up against Central District on a three-game losing streak of its own. The Dogs are back at home, and in a tight competition are still only two wins off the top two. They will want to convert their almost-wins into victories however, making two confirmed changes with Laitiah Huynh and Madison Lane off to represent South Australia. The home team has named an extended bench with the likes of Emma Keys and Caitlin Wendland making their way into the side. The Bloods have lost four of their stars due to the Academy game and AFL Women’s, with Keeley Kustermann, Lauren Young and Zoe Venning all out of West Adelaide’s team, while Chelsea Biddell steps up to the Crows again. Bethany Sigley is in line to potentially make her debut, whilst Ailish Considine could replace Biddell as that experienced forward.

The Bulldogs will remain relatively stable to past weeks despite their two young talents out of the side, as captain Shelby Smith is in red-hot form with Caitlen Teague and Lauren Smith also having great games in past weeks. Up forward Katelyn Rosenzweig did not miss a beat after what looked like a bad injury two weeks ago, but turned up and impressed last round. Demi Sonneman has been a reliable force down back and will be important to limiting West’s scoring chances, with Kasia Culhane down there and Sharnie Whiting thrown forward as a target. Bec Owen and Zoe Greer make a strong midfield with Louella McCarthy and ruck Kate Walsh, in what will be a fascinating clash of midfields.

NORWOOD vs. GLENELG
Saturday, March 27 @ 12.30pm
Coopers Stadium

The new top of the table Redlegs will host an up-and-down Glenelg which now sits at 2-2 and only one win off the top two places. The Bays had a fantastic come-from-behind win over West Adelaide last week, whilst Norwood’s victory over North Adelaide handed them top spot. The Redlegs will be without young guns, Alana Lishmund and Jade Halfpenny who miss due to the Academy game, as well as Elizabeth Drake who is out due to a quad injury. Into the side comes Tesharna Maher alongside a couple of Morphettville Park and ex-Glenelg talents in Cammie Williams and Celestine Dona to make their debuts in the game. Rori Perryman could be a debutant for the Bays, coming into the side with Rachel Aistrope, Rhiley Ritchie, Milli Gentle and Sheridan Howell. They replace Academy players Brooke Tonon and Tamsyn Morriss, as well as Dayna Cox (Adelaide AFL Women’s) and Lucy Earl (injured).

Both sides still have very strong sides despite the omissions, with Mattea Breed named in the ruck with Leah Cutting at centre half-forward. Jess Macolino and Lana Schwerdt – the most recent Breakthrough Player of the Week – are in good form, whilst Ella Murison slotted two goals last week. Also in good form are the likes of Sam Franson, Emily Bates and Ellie Kellock in the yellow and black, whilst Piper Window has been consistent through the season and developing well, while Molly Affolter provides the height through the ruck and up forward. Norwood will be favourites in the game, but it should be a tight contest.

Picture credit: SANFL / Cory Sutton

SANFL Women’s Round 4 wrap: Redlegs topple Roosters as Panthers and Eagles grab back-to-back wins

NORWOOD has grabbed top spot on the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s ladder with a victory over previous leader North Adelaide, whilst South Adelaide entered the top four thanks to their second consecutive win.

WWT EAGLES 1.0 | 2.1 | 3.1 | 4.1 (25)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 1.1 | 1.2 | 2.3 | 2.4 (16)

GOALS:

Eagles: J. Sedunary 2, K. Lee, S. Walker.
Central: K. Rosenzweig, C. Reynolds.

DC BEST:

Eagles: J. Sedunary, S. Goody. N. Holmes, S. Walker, A. Falkenberg
Central: S. Smith, I. Stamer, A. James, D. Sonneman, M. Lane

Booting four of the last five goals of the game, Woodville-West Torrens Eagles exacted revenge on the team that beat them in Round 1, knocking off Central District by nine points on Friday night. The Eagles booted 4.1 (25) to 2.4 (16) in the game, making the most of their scoring chances despite one less than their opposition, and handed the Bulldogs their third consecutive loss in the process. Jess Sedunary was the star, booting two goals in her return since breaking her leg last year, whilst for the second consecutive week, Kiana Lee booted the sealer. Regular scorers Katelyn Rosenzweig and Chantel Reynolds hit the scoreboard for the Dogs, but it would not be enough.

In a low-possession game, the Dogs had 10 more touches (199-189), with the visitors dominating the clearances (28-13) off the back of hitout control (23-17). Despite this, they could not make inroads going forward, with the Eagles controlling the inside 50 count (31-22), whilst the Dogs defence largely held up with rebound 50s (27-20), though the Eagles still fought through for the victory.

Sedunary finished with an impressive 14 disposals, three marks – two contested – four tackles, two clearances, three inside 50s and two goals upon return, while Stephanie Walker slotted a goal from 14 disposals, three marks, four tackles, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s. Shineah Goody was again impressive, as the youngster had 13 touches, five marks, five tackles and four inside 50s, while Natasha Holmes (14 disposals, six tackles) and Anastasia Falkenberg (13 disposals, four tackles and three rebound 50s) were also productive.

For the Bulldogs, Shelby Smith could well have been the best player on the ground, racking up 21 disposals, six marks, six tackles five clearances and five inside 50s to lead from the front, whilst Caitlen Teague (15 disposals, three marks) and Madison Lane (14 disposals, six rebound 50s) again found plenty of the footy. Isabelle Starmer stood out in the ruck with 15 hitouts, four clearances and five tackles to go with 13 touches, while Demi Sonneman (11 disposals, three tackles, three marks and four rebound 50s) and Lauren Smith (14 disposals, five tackles) were strong.

Both teams face off at X Convenience Oval in a double-header at X Convenience Oval next Saturday, with the Eagles taking on Sturt at 10.40am, before the Bulldogs host West Adelaide from 12.25pm.

 

WEST ADELAIDE 2.1 | 2.2 | 2.3 | 3.4 (22)
GLENELG 0.0 | 1.2 | 2.4 | 4.4 (28)

GOALS:

West: L. Young 3.
Glenelg: E. Kellock 2, C. Swanson, C. Packer.

DC BEST:

West: L. Young, Z. Venning, K. Culhane, C. Biddell, K. Kustermann
Glenelg: E. Kellock, M. Girvan, J. Bates, B. Tonon, D. Cox

Glenelg has bounced back from consecutive losses with a six-point win over West Adelaide, handing the Bloods back-to-back losses in the process. In a hard-fought match, Glenelg overcame a huge effort from 15-year-old Lauren Young – who booted three goals – to kick the last two goals of the match and win by a goal after trailing by as much as six points, seven minutes into the final term. In the end, two goals from Ellie Kellock in an impressive effort was enough to overcome the Bloods and ensure both teams went to 2-2 for the season after the 4.4 (28) to 3.4 (22) win.

Glenelg won 35 more disposals (185-150), and also restricted West’s outside game, with the Bloods having just 19 marks to the Bays’ 32, whilst the visitors also notched up 72 tackles to 54. West Adelaide was stronger around the stoppages with 30 clearances to 25, also winning the inside 50 count (27-24), but the Bays stood strong in defence with 24 rebound 50s to 17.

Kellock slotted two majors from 12 disposals, four clearances and two inside 50s in a strong effort across four quarters, though she was far from alone. Jessica Bates continued her red-hot 2021 form with 13 disposals, five marks, nine tackles, three clearances and five rebound 50s, while Brooke Tonon (14 disposals, three marks, three tackles and four rebound 50s) and Caitlyn Swanson (eight disposals, three marks, three tackles and three inside 50s) had an impact. Meara Girvan (11 disposals, 18 hitouts) and Molly Affolter (six disposals, 18 hitouts) both tag-teamed in the ruck, while Dayna Cox returned to the side to have 12 disposals, three marks, five tackles and three rebound 50s.

Young was a standout performer yet again, with the leading disposal winner racking up 17 touches again, but clunking four marks – two contested – three tackles, four inside 50s, two rebound 50s and slotting the three goals. Fellow State Academy members Zoe Venning (15 disposals, two marks, six tackles, three clearances and three inside 50s) and Keeley Kustermann (eight disposals, seven tackles, two inside 50s and four rebound 50s) also stood out, while Chelsea Biddell (10 disposals, 21 hitouts, four tackles) was imposing in the ruck returning to state level, and Kasia Culhane (11 disposals, four tackles and six clearances) also prominent in the middle.

Glenelg take on Norwood at Coopers Stadium next Saturday, while the Bloods take on Central District on the same day at X Convenience Oval.

 

NORWOOD 1.0 | 2.0 | 4.0 | 5.0 (30)
NORTH ADELAIDE 0.1 | 0.1 | 1.1 | 1.2 (8)

GOALS:

Norwood: E. Murison 2, M. Breed, J. Halfpenny, J. Macolino.
North: T. Thorn.

DC BEST:

Norwood: L. Cutting, E. Murison, M. Johnston, E. Clark, L. Schwerdt
North: J. Tabb, K. Harvey, E. Greet, J. Clark, T. Thorn

Norwood has ended North Adelaide’s winning streak at three, with a 22-point victory in the Saturday Round 4 contest between the sides. The Redlegs just could not miss – literally – booting five straight goals on their way to a 5.0 (30) to 1.2 (8) victory, containing the Roosters to just one goal and three scoring shots in the match. Ella Murison was the sole multiple goalkicker with two, as athletic forwards Mattea Breed and Jade Halfpenny slotted majors, as did midfielder Jess Macolino, while Tayla Thorn kicked North’s sole major of the game.

Norwood had 30 more disposals (218-188), and 20 more marks (43-23), whilst North Adelaide applied good pressure throughout the match with 85 tackles to 61. Around the ball, Norwood had the advantage, dominating the hitouts 42-15 thanks to Leah Cutting, whilst taking control in the clearances (30-24) and inside 50s (26-21), with North marginally head in rebound 50s (21-18).

Cutting was best on ground with 17 disposals, six marks – one contested – 26 hitouts, nine tackles, two clearances, five inside 50s and two rebound 50s in the win, aiding the likes of Macolino (12 disposals, four inside 50s and two clearances), Emma Clark (13 disposals, seven tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s), Lana Schwerdt (13 disposals, four tackles and three clearances) and Sophie Armitstead (15 disposals, four tackles and three clearances) at the stoppages. Murison’s two goals came alongside 13 disposals, three marks, three tackles, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s, while Halfpenny helped herself to 10 touches, four tackles and three inside 50s as well as a goal.

North’s two standouts were midfielder Jaimi Tabb who was a wrecking ball around the stoppages thanks to 18 disposals, four marks – three contested – 10 tackles, five clearances and five inside 50s – and full-back Kristi Harvey (18 disposals, three marks, six tackles and five rebound 50s) who were both sensational. Julia Clark stepped up for 14 touches, two marks, four tackles, two clearances and two rebound 50s, while Erica Greet (15 disposals, five inside 50s) and Chelsea Farr (13 disposals, five tackles and three inside 50s) were also busy in the loss.

In Round 5, Norwood hosts Glenelg at Coopers Stadium on Saturday, while North Adelaide takes on South Adelaide in the second grand final rematch of the season under lights at Flinders University Stadium from 7pm.

 

SOUTH ADELAIDE 2.1 | 2.2 | 2.4 | 3.7 (25)
STURT 0.0 | 1.1 | 1.2 | 2.2 (14)

GOALS:

South: J. Kirk, J. Hooper, H. Munyard.
Sturt: C. Forby, K. Harris.

DC BEST:

South: H. Munyard, C. Cavouras, M. McKinnon, J. Kirk, B. Wedding
Sturt: J. Wittervan, G. Swan, A. Ballard, K. Harris, H. Prenzler

South Adelaide have strung back-to-back wins together in 2021, defeating Sturt to move to 2-2 for the season despite kicking just the one goal in the second half. In what was a titanic struggle of two teams with strong defences, the Panthers got up in a thrilling 3.7 (25) to 2.2 (14) victory, with a couple of Adelaide AFL Women’s talents standing up. The Panthers were quick out of the blocks with two goals in 11 minutes to race out to a 13-point lead at quarter time. Sturt worked back into the game and even moved to within two points just 25 seconds into the final term courtesy of a goal to Kate Harris, but a response from Jess Kirk – and a couple of chances after that from the goalsneak – ended the game with an 11-point win to the home team.

Despite the loss, Sturt led the disposals (205-179), marks (51-44) and clearances (22-18), though South Adelaide clunked 16 contested marks to seven in a remarkable show of strength. The Panthers also laid 51 tackles to 39, and marginally led the hitouts (21-19) and rebound 50s (23-20), with the inside 50s practically even (26-25 in Sturt’s favour).

Hannah Munyard returned to South Adelaide for her first game of the year and immediately threw her hand up for a recall to the Crows’ AFL Women’s side, racking up 20 disposals, as well as two marks, five tackles, four clearances, three inside 50s, two rebound 50s and a goal. Czenya Cavouras was just as prominent around the stoppages, crashing and bashing her way to 17 touches, seven tackles and six clearances, whilst Montana McKinnon‘s ripping season continued with four contested marks – of six total marks – as well as 16 hitouts, 11 disposals and four inside 50s. Nicole Campbell (13 disposals, three inside 50s) won her fair share of the ball, whilst youngsters Sarah Wright (13 disposals, two inside 50s and three rebound 50s) and Tahlita Buethke (12 disposals, three marks, two clearances and three inside 50s) were also impressive.

Georgia Swan‘s rising form capped off in the game with a massive 20 touches, a clear season-best for the State Academy member, also taking five marks – one contested – laying four tackles and having four inside 50s. Jaimee Wittervan was crucial around the stoppages with 13 disposals, seven clearances, four inside 50s, three marks and three tackles, while Alex Ballard had 14 disposals, seven marks and three rebound 50s. Also busy in defence was Hannah Prenzler (10 disposals, five marks – one contested – and five rebound 50s), while Alisha Gepp (15 disposals, two marks, two tackles and two clearances) and Harris (14 disposals, three marks and three inside 50s) were also among the better Sturt players on the day.

South Adelaide will have a chance to topple North Adelaide in the first game of Round 5 at Flinders University on Friday night, while Sturt will take on Woodville-West Torrens Eagles at X Convenience Oval on Saturday morning.

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 4 preview: Crucial ladder-defining games for mid-table teams

ROUND 4 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season kicks off tonight with two games across the weekend featuring teams on one win from three games, while Norwood have the chance to knock top of the table North Adelaide off its unbeaten perch.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Friday, March 19 @ 6.30pm
Hisense Stadium

In the first rematch of the season, Woodville-West Torrens Eagles take on Central District under lights at Hisense Stadium tonight. The Eagles are coming in off their first win of the season following their hard-fought slog in the wet against Glenelg, whilst Central District has not won since the Round 1 victory over the Eagles, but were in control for most of the game in their last two narrow losses to Sturt and South Adelaide which were both under a kick. The Bulldogs have been terrific starters this season and will look to do so again when they take on the Eagles, whilst their opponents will be aware that if they can be close enough at half-time they can finish strongly like they did against the Bays last week.

The Eagles do have a couple of forced outs with youngster Brooklyn Kraft missing due to a knee injury, and Renee Forth called up to Adelaide’s AFL Women’s program. They have regained some AFL Women’s experience however, with Jess Sedunary among a host of inclusions on an extended bench. Central has just the one confirmed out with Alicia Butler out, though key midfield Lauren Smith returns alongside a number of inclusions for the Dogs as they hope to go 2-0 against the Eagles this season.

To do so Central will need to put scores on the board throughout the four quarters, and key forward Katelyn Rosenzweig has been named which is fantastic to see after an injury late in the loss to South Adelaide last week. Chantel Reynolds and Laitiah Huynh have found ways to apply scoreboard pressure this season, while Shelby Smith was sensational last week in the middle. She is well supported by Lauren Smith and Caitlen Teague who form a really strong onball group, whilst the defensive trio of Madison Lane, Gemma Doughty and Demi Sonneman provide great run out of the back 50.

The Eagles have to shuffle the magnets around with the loss of Kraft, as Amie Blanden – who took over ruck duties last week – will start there again, as Under 16s talent Shineah Goody will team up with reigning best and fairest winner Jovanka Zecevic at the stoppages. Anastasia Falkenberg and Natasha Holmes have put together some consistent performances this season, while South Australian State Academy members, Charlotte Dolan and Jamie Parish will provide some run for the Eagles. Kiana Lee has been named at centre half-back but as she showed last week, can go forward and kick a crucial goal.

Central District would be favoured to back up their Round 1 win over the Eagles, it will just be a case of making the most of their forward 50 entries, whilst for the Eagles, it is about winning the midfield battle.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. GLENELG
Friday, March 19 @ 8.15pm
Hisense Stadium

In the second match at Hisense Arena, the real home team in West Adelaide will host Glenelg in an important game for both sides. The Bloods will welcome back some of their AFL Women’s talent they lost from last week’s game when they went down to North Adelaide. The Bays will also bring some big names back into the side as they look to arrest a two-game losing streak they have suffered at the hands of North Adelaide and Woodville-West Torrens the last two rounds. West have the firepower up forward, but the Tigers have also been capable of kicking a big score when not slugging it out in the wet.

West Adelaide will welcome back Madison Newman and Chelsea Biddell to the fold with their AFL Women’s experience crucial, though Louella McCarthy is another key player to be named amongst the ins having kicked two late goals in the win a fortnight ago. The Bays will see a ton of players return with at last five players out of the Round 3 team, including Ellen Fauser, whilst the likes of AFL Women’s Dayna Cox, and goal-scoring threat Sam Franson are back in for the big game. Grace Duffy is another inclusion for the Bays who has proven to provide some high and work in the forward half.

With the West forward line looking bulked up again, it will the likes of Biddell and Newman who have the capacity of putting scores on the board, while Zoe Venning has rotated well between half-forward and onball this season. Lauren Young has been a revelation in her debut season at just 15-years-old, and the likes of Bec Owen and Zoe Greer will rove to Kate Walsh who could take advantage in the ruck. State Academy member Tamsyn Morriss has been thrown in the midfield for this game alongside 15-year-old Piper Window who has made a promising start to her SANFL Women’s career. Ellie Kellock provides that experience in the middle, while Madisyn Freeman and Brooke Tonon are named on the wings to provide some extra run forward.

West Adelaide will be favourites here with plenty of quality coming back, but the Bays have their own talent returning, which makes this a great contest at night.

NORWOOD vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, March 20 @ 11.00am
Cooper Stadium

Kicking off Saturday’s action, Norwood will have the next crack at trying to end the unbeaten North Adelaide’s run which went to three games last week, but realistically the Roosters have not lost since the 2019 SANFL Women’s Grand Final. The Redlegs have won the past two games and are building some good form, though they did have a scare against Sturt in Round 3, so will want to pick it up here and put in a good performance. The Roosters controlled most of the player after an early goal to the Bloods last week, and will be without a couple of stars so will eye off others stepping up in their place.

Isabel Martin will miss the Redlegs’ Round 4 clash after injuring her ankle, joining State Academy member Sarah Branford, and defender Kate Fenton among the outs for the clash. Norwood does regain the services of Alana Lishmund who returns from suspension. The Roosters on the other hand have suffered some big outs with young gun Hannah Ewings out with the ankle injury she sustained in the second quarter of North Adelaide’s Round 3 win over West Adelaide, while key forward Kelly Barltrop will be unavailable for the clash.

The Redlegs will need to capitalise on the midfield and get the ball forward to allow the likes of athletic talls Mattea Breed and Jade Halfpenny to get plenty of looks inside 50. Lana Schwerdt won the Ellen Maple Medal in the win against Sturt last week and will be keen to back up that performance here, whilst the experience of Jess Macolino, Sophie Armitstead and Elisha Gallagher will help add some composure around the ground. The Redlegs were lucky not to concede a late goal last week, and will be wary of what the Roosters can do.

North Adelaide has a near-impenetrable defence with key posts, Kristi Harvey and Talia Radan providing the strength and smarts to not allow any easy goals. Alana Baker comes into the side and slots straight onto half-back with the running Kate Case, while Case’s State Academy teammate Julia Clark has been thrown in the midfield alongside the in-form Leah Tynan and Cristie Castle. Jaimi Tabb has been named at full-forward to provide some strength down there, whilst Brianna Arthur and Kathryn Reynolds are also among the dangerous forwards inside 50.

North Adelaide should be good enough to go to 4-0, but with the talent out, Norwood has a huge opportunity to cause an upset in this game, particularly in front of home fans.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. STURT
Saturday, March 20 @ 5.30pm
Flinders University Stadium

‘The final game of the round is an evening game between South Adelaide and Sturt down at Flinders University Stadium. The Panthers finally got on the board last week – albeit just – with a narrow win over Central District. The game against Sturt could be another thriller, with the Double Blues also having plenty of young, developing players running around and are 1-2, though could easily have been 2-1 with a couple of missed opportunities last in the game against the Panthers last week. The winner of this game moves to 2-2 and remains in touch with the top couple of teams.

The Panthers will welcome into the side Amy Gore and Katie Whish – the latter in line for a debut – amongst others including Sheena Peters, Alannah Rochow and Georgia Pennifold, whilst Madison Bennett, Tess Brockhurst and Amy Huxtable are out. The Double Blues have lost youngster Tiah Hough to a hand injury, whilst Allani Dawes, Molly Fletcher and Jessica Good have been named in an extended team, with Good another potential debutant in the game.

Good could well have a baptism of fire, with the tall named in the ruck to face AFL Women’s ruck Montana McKinnon. The South Adelaide ruck has been in terrific form this season, and with the experience of Czenya Cavouras and Nicole Campbell in there, the Panthers have the advantage. However the fact Zoe Prowse is just rolling around as a midfielder means the Double Blues have that Plan B ready to go, with the best two young rucks in South Australia likely to cross paths on multiple occasions. Sturt duo Alisha Gepp and Isobel Kuiper are younger than their opponents, but will certainly attack the contest hard, whilst Tahlita Buethke and Sarah Wright are other State Academy members hoping to impress through the midfield.

In defence for the Double Blues, Alex Ballard, Hannah Prenzler and Lauren Clifton are a trio of State Academy members who provide skill and drive out of the back 50, going up against the likes of Gypsy Schirmer, Jess Kirk and Sophia Flanagan-Sjoberg who have all been in great form themselves. Jorja Hooper has acquitted herself successfully in her debut season as a key forward, with the Under 16s talent showing her strength in the air and around goal, while Jaslynne Smith and Georgia Swan are among the other young talents running around for their respective teams in the match.

This game could go either way, with South likely to be favourite given their extra experience, but the Sturt defence has done well yet again to start the season, which makes it a fascinating contest.

 

Picture credit: SANFL / Cory Sutton

SANFL Women’s Round 3 wrap: Roosters rise up as remaining sides grab points

NORTH Adelaide is outright top of the table in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition after defeating West Adelaide, whilst Woodville-West Torrens Eagles and South Adelaide grabbed wins, meaning five teams are on one victory, with Norwood joining West on the two wins from three games.

CENTRAL DISTRICT 1.2 | 2.5 | 3.7 | 4.8 (32)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 0.3 | 0.5 | 3.6 | 5.7 (37)

GOALS:

Central: C. Reynolds, K. Rosenzweig, D. Sonneman, C. Teague.
South: J. Kirk 2, J. Hooper, E. Haylock.

DC BEST:

Central: C. Teague, M. Lane, S. Smith, C. Richards, K. Rosenzweig
South: J. Kirk, J. Hooper, S. Flanagan-Sjoberg, G. Schirmer, J. Smith

South Adelaide has overcome a goalless first half to run over the top of a plucky Central District in a classic contest to open Round 3 of SANFL Women’s action. For the second consecutive week, the Bulldogs kept a side to one goal or less in the first half, then led at the final break but were overrun in the final term. An injury to Katelyn Rosenzweig late in the game hurt the Bulldogs as the key forward had been a strong target and kicked a great goal in the third term.

Chantel Reynolds and Caitlen Teague started off with majors in the first half, as both sides booted five behinds heading into the main break in what had been primarily a battle between the arcs. Forward targets Jess Kirk and youngster Jorja Hooper kicked majors in the opening two and a half minutes of the third term to get the game back in South’s possessions before Rosenzweig kicked truly midway through the term. Back-to-back goals either side of the break to Elyse Haylock and Kirk, following by a towering mark and goal from Hooper, and the game looked out of reach for the Bulldogs. To Central’s credit Demi Sonneman converted in the extra time added by Rosenzweig’s injury, but the Dogs would fall short by five points.

Kirk (seven disposals, four marks – three contested – two tackles and 2.3) and Hooper (nine disposals, four marks – two contested – two inside 50s and 2.1) were the key targets up forward for the Panthers, while Montana McKinnon (15 hitouts) and Soriah Moon (14) controlled the ruck stoppages. Nicole Campbell (nine disposals, four clearances) and Tahlita Buethke (15 disposals, three clearances) were the couple of stand up around the stoppages, as Sophia Flanagan-Sjoberg (17 disposals, three tackles and two inside 50s), Gypsy Schirmer (16 disposals, three marks and four inside 50s) and Jaslynne Smith (13 disposals, two marks, two tackles and six rebounds) were also solid.

For the Bulldogs, Madison Lane led all-comers with 18 touches, six marks, four rebounds and two tackles, while Teague was superb once again with 17 disposals, three tackles, four clearances, eight inside 50s, two rebounds and a goal. Captain Shelby Smith (17 disposals, eight tackles, five clearances and four inside 50s) was busy once again, as was Reynolds (16 disposals, six marks, four inside 50s and 1.3).

The Bulldogs take on Woodville-West Torrens Eagles at Hisense Stadium on Friday night, while the Panthers host Sturt at Flinders University Stadium on Saturday evening in two battles between 1-2 sides.

 

NORWOOD 1.1 | 1.1 | 3.1 | 3.2 (20)
STURT 0.1 | 1.1 | 2.3 | 2.6 (18)

GOALS:

Norwood: M. Breed, E. Drake, E. Gallagher.
Sturt: A. Brooks-Birve, C. Forby.

DC BEST:

Norwood: M. Johnston, J. Macolino, L. Cutting. L. Schwerdt, A. Ferrall
Sturt: A. Gepp Z. Prowse, I. Kuiper, E. Dawes, A. Ballard

Norwood has outlasted Sturt in a tense, low-scoring epic battle of strong defences, getting up by just two points, 3.2 (20) to 2.6 (18) at Coopers Stadium on Friday night. The Redlegs moved to 2-1 in the season and moved two points ahead of the mid-table logjam, with both sides only booting one goal apiece in the first half, and a combined five goals for the entire match. Despite the low scores, the contest had plenty of end-to-end action and edge-of-your-seat contests, with Lana Schwerdt awarded the prestigious Ellen Maple Medal for her efforts in the match.

Elisha Gallagher was first off the board breaking a 10-minute scoring drought with a major, while Sturt broke its drought with a Chloe Forby major just 90 seconds into the second term. Just over a quarter later, Amy Brooks-Birve snagged a second major for the Double Blues to hit the front, and by the seven-minute mark of the third term, led by as much as eight points. Back-to-back majors to Mattea Breed and Elizabeth Drake midway and late in the third term for the Redlegs swung the momentum back in the home team’s favour. The final term was largely played in Sturt’s half, booting three behinds to one, and then having a couple of shots in the final minute, including a set shot to Taylor Prenzler 30m out straight in front, but it just drifted off the boot and was marked on the line.

Morgan Johnston was superb out of the back half, picking up 16 disposals, taking seven marks and having six rebounds and three tackles, whilst through the middle of the ground, Jess Macolino (16 disposals, six tackles and two clearances), Sophie Armitstead (14 disposals, two marks, five tackles and three clearances) and Elisha Gallagher (14 disposals, five tackles and three clearances) were busy, the latter also stepping up inside 50. Leah Cutting had 13 disposals, 18 hitouts, five clearances and laid four tackles against Zoe Prowse in an entertaining ruck battle all night. Alison Ferrall (13 disposals, six tackles and five rebounds) and Jade Halfpenny (13 disposals, two marks, three tackles, two clearances and two inside 50s) also had some highlights in the match.

For the Double Blues, Sturt showed off her usual athleticism with 13 touches, two marks, 19 hitouts, four tackles, five clearances and three inside 50s, while Alisha Gepp (20 disposals, three clearances and four tackles) led the match for disposals, Elise Dawes (12 disposals, three tackles, three clearances and six inside 50s), Isobel Kuiper (12 disposals, four marks, five tackles, five clearances and five inside 50s) and Tiah Hough (nine disposals, four clearances and two tackles) all busy at the stoppages.

Norwood host top of the table North Adelaide next Saturday at Coopers Stadium, while the Double Blues head to Flinders University Stadium later in the day to face the Panthers.

 

WWT EAGLES 0.1 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 2.3 (15)
GLENELG 0.3 | 1.4 | 1.6 | 1.6 (12)

GOALS:

Eagles: K. Lee, C. Whittington-Charity.
Glenelg: E. Kellock.

DC BEST:

Eagles: S. Goody, S. Walker, J. Zecevic, A. Blanden, A. Falkenberg
Glenelg: J. Bates, E. Kellock, B. Tonon, M. Affolter, L. Bungey

In a low-scoring battle that featured just three goals, Woodville-West Torrens Eagles did enough to get the job done and secure the win over Glenelg. The Eagles trailed by two points at quarter time, three points half-time and five points at the final break, but kept the Bays scoreless in the final term, booting 1.2 – which was more than their score for the entire first three quarters – to win 2.3 (15) to 1.6 (12). The victory meant the Eagles moved to 1-2 for the season and completed the set which has seen every team grab a win this season from just three rounds.

The first term was an arm-wrestle which would be indicative for the rest of the contest. Four behinds were scored, three of which went the way of the Tigers. The second term was a complete reversal as Chloe Whitington-Charity and Ellie Kellock cancelled each other out with majors in the opening four minutes of the term. Whilst it might have looked like the game was going to open up on the scoreboard, the next goal did not come for another 40 minutes and by that stage, it was Kiana Lee – who had missed a shot just prior – slotting home what would be the winning goal in the tight encounter.

Young gun Shineah Goody gets better by the week and was best on ground for her 16 disposals, two marks, 11 tackles, four clearances, nine inside 50s and two rebounds. Stephanie Walker (12 disposals, eight tackles and four inside 50s), Anastasia Falkenberg (14 disposals, seven tackles, two inside 50s and two rebounds), Amie Blanden (12 disposals, six tackles and 12 hitouts) and Jovanka Zecevic (12 disposals, eight tackles, three clearances and three rebounds) were also impressive for the Eagles.

For the Bays, Jessica Bates continued her great form with 15 disposals, two marks, 12 tackles, two clearances and three rebounds, teaming up well with Brooke Tonon (14 disposals, three tackles, two clearances, two inside 50s and three rebounds) and Kellock (13 disposals, two marks, three tackles, two inside 50s, two rebounds and one goal). Lauren Bungey (11 disposals, three tackles and four inside 50s) and Tamsyn Morriss (11 disposals, five tackles and three rebounds) were also lively in the loss.

Next week the Eagles face Central District in a rematch of the first round encounter between the sides, while Glenelg take on West Adelaide, both at Hisense Stadium on Friday night.

 

WEST ADELAIDE 1.1 | 1.1 | 1.2 | 1.3 (9)
NORTH ADELAIDE 0.0 | 2.2 | 2.3 | 4.4 (28)

GOALS:

West: G. Ramsey.
North: J. Tabb, T. Thorn, H. Ewings, T. Gordon.

DC BEST:

West: S. Whiting, B. Owen, L. Young, Z. Venning, Z. Greer
North: L. Tynan, K. Harvey, C. Castle, O. Gallio, P. Waterford

In the final game of the round, North Adelaide stood tall in the battle of the undefeated sides, overcoming a scoreless first term to boot the last four goals of the match, and win by 19 points over West Adelaide. The Bloods were missing a number of key players for the encounter such as Madison Newman, Chelsea Biddell and Melanie Elsegood, leaving them a touch short and down on experience up forward. Nonetheless, the Roosters capitalised with 4.4 to 0.2 after quarter time to run out 4.4 (28) to 1.3 (9) winners.

Despite missing their two tall targets inside 50, the Bloods were first on the board less than three minutes into the match, with Gretel Ramsey slotting a goal after a miss from Nicole Hooper to go seven points up. Neither team could score for the remainder of the quarter, leaving the Bloods in control at 1.1 to 0.0. Quick out of the blocks in the second term, the Roosters roared to life in the opening minutes, as Hannah Ewings and Tayla Gordon booted majors, and the reigning premiers headed into the main break with a seven-point lead themselves. After another goalless third term for both sides, the Roosters had another fierce start to the final quarter, booting another two goals inside the first six minutes with Jaimi Tabb and Tayla Thorn driving home the message and grabbing the four points along the way for a memorable win.

Leah Tynan topped the disposal winners for the Roosters, picking up 16 touches, as well as three marks, five tackles, four clearances and four inside 50s. Poppy Waterford (14 disposals, three marks and four rebounds) and Olivia Gallio (13 disposals, five tackles and three rebounds) backed up Kristi Harvey (11 disposals, six rebounds) in defence, while Tabb (13 disposals, three marks, four tackles, two clearances and a goal) and Cristie Castle (13 disposals, three tackles, two hitouts, two clearances and four inside 50s) were also busy.

For the Bloods, Sharnie Whiting was instrumental once again with 21 disposals, four marks, two tackles, three clearances, two inside 50s and four rebounds, while Lauren Young (19 disposals, four marks, four tackles, two clearances, three inside 50s and three rebounds) was also outstanding. Bec Owen (17 disposals, four marks, six tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s) stood up, while Zoe Venning (17 disposals, two tackles, two clearances and two inside 50s) and Kate Walsh (seven disposals, 19 hitouts, four clearances and two inside 50s) were others who impressed.

North Adelaide will face off against Norwood at Coopers Stadium on Saturday, while West Adelaide host Glenelg at Hisense Stadium on Friday night.

 

Picture credit: SANFL – John Emery

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 3 preview: Undefeated sides to clash as others search for first win

WEST Adelaide and North Adelaide will battle for the right to the top of the ladder after three South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s rounds when they play on Sunday, while the likes of South Adelaide and Woodville-West Torrens are searching for their first win of the season.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Friday, March 12 @ 6.30pm
Coopers Stadium

Opening the round is a massive crunch game this early in the season between two sides that have the capacity to push for a finals spot. Central District sit at an even 1-1 from its two games thus far, picking up a big win over Woodville-West Torrens, then let the match against Sturt slip away in the final term. They were a quarter away from heading into this game undefeated, but the Panthers are now in a similar boat with an 0-2 start, albeit coming up against two likely finalists this year in North Adelaide and Norwood. Team selection has hurt the Bulldogs with Lauren Breguet and Lauren Smith both out due to concussion, but some of the ins add serious quality to the team, with Amber James, Gemma Doughty and Alicia Butler among those named back in the side and have he potential to put in strong performances. The Panthers have welcomed back Czenya Cavouras to the mix who was sorely missed in Round 2, and along with Alannah Rochow, the Panthers have an extended bench and only the two confirmed outs with Georgia Pennifold and Tiffany Copley both out of the side.

The Bulldogs took it up to the Panthers last season but could not capitalise on a plethora of inside 50s, and now with extra experience through that midfield, the likes of Butler, Caitlen Teague and Shelby Smith have the opportunity to match up against Cavouras, Nicole Campbell and Tahlita Buethke. Montana McKinnon has been in scintillating form at state level and will be difficult to contain, though with a solid backline that has restricted its opposition this year, the Bulldogs will back themselves in. Shannon Murphy, Doughty and Demi Sonneman make up a reliable half-back line, whilst youngsters at either end in Laitiah Huynh and Madison Lane add some extra tenacity in there. Speaking of youngsters, Gypsy Schirmer has been in terrific form to start the year, with Sarah Wright getting better by the week, and Lauren Clifton teaming up well with Jaslynne Smith in defence. Madison Bennett made a great return to the Panthers side in Round 2, and she just locks onto opposition players with her pressure and burst speed.

This is genuinely a 50/50 game. History says South Adelaide, but potential suggest Central District could cause a boilover, though the Panthers will be keen not to drop to 0-3 in a short season.

 

NORWOOD vs. STURT
Friday, March 12 @ 8.15pm
Coopers Stadium

Two sides that reversed Round 1 losses into Round 2 wins, Norwood hosts Sturt in a game that promises to provide plenty of great matchups. The Redlegs took down South Adelaide last week after a lost to West Adelaide the week before, while Sturt came good in the final term to run over the top of Central District after a forgettable Round 1 loss to Glenelg. A couple of youngsters will be out of the Redlegs side, with Alana Lishmund missing due to suspension, while Tesharna Maher is out with an ankle injury. In comes Jiarna Zerella and Charlotte Nenke, both named on the bench for the clash. Sturt have made minimal changes with only a couple of inclusions to the side as Georgia Hamilton and Allani Dawes join an extended Double Blues bench.

The Redlegs have plenty of firepower up forward, with Jade Halfpenny standing out in attack, while Mattea Breed roamed just about everywhere and even chopped out in the ruck. Speaking of the ruck, Leah Cutting will bring plenty of experience, but will need to try and contain the athleticism and talent of Zoe Prowse who never misses a beat. The draft-eligible AFL Women’s Academy member will make life difficult for not only Cutting, but the opposition midfield as well with her second efforts. Jess Macolino and Sophie Armitstead have nous to extract the ball, with Shai Hiscock and teenager Sarah Branford also named in there. Sharing the load up forward, Isabel Martin can roam up to a wing, while Kate Fenton, Alison Ferrall and Elizabeth Drake are capable of multiple goals. For the Double Blues, their defence is one of the best in the competition, led by Maya Rigter in her new defensive role, and teenage duo, Alex Ballard and Hannah Prenzler. Through midfield, the Double Blues have the youngest onball division in the competition, with 19-year-old Isobel Kuiper the oldest of the quartet featuring Prowse, Alisha Gepp and Tiah Hough who have all stood up against more experienced opposition.

Norwood are favourites to win back-to-back matches, but Sturt just grind out games and then stand up at critical moments, so the Redlegs will need to be at their best to get the job done.

 

WWT EAGLES vs. GLENELG
Saturday, March 13 @ 10.40am
Hisense Stadium

Kicking off the Saturday double-header at Hisense Stadium, the Woodville-West Torrens Eagles are searching for their first win against a Glenelg side coming off a narrow loss to reigning premiers, North Adelaide. The Eagles have lost to Central District and West Adelaide in the opening two rounds, while Glenelg triumphed over Sturt before going down to the Roosters by five points last weekend. The Bays will be without key player Sam Franson for the clash, while Anja Bancevic is also out, as Ellen Fauser and Lauren Bungey return to the team. Fauser has been named straight at full-forward with Bungey at half-back, adding some fresh faces to either end. The Eagles on the other hand have brought in five players and lost three, with Kiana Lee returning to the side to sure up defence. Jess Sedunary is a massive inclusion with the AFL Women’s talent coming back for her first game since her broken leg last year.

The Eagles have a number of young talents who provide great run and carry, with Charlotte Dolan and Jamie Parish named on respective wins, and Shineah Goody at half-back. The experience of Jovanka Zecevic and Renee Forth in midfield will look to take control, though youngster Piper Window has held her own in the competition, and Ellie Kellock is a reliable inside midfielder. Brooke Tonon and Madisyn Freeman will provide the Bays with run of their own, while Tessa Kohn and Tamsyn Morriss are still young and provide some hardness around the ground. Jessica Bates is in some great form for the visitors, while Amie Blanden is a consistent source of scoring chances inside 50, and Anastasia Falkenberg capable of roaming up the ground when required.

Glenelg have the extra experience, though the Eagles’ inclusions are mighty handy so will make it a tough contest.

 

WEST ADELAIDE vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, March 13 @ 12.25pm
Hisense Stadium

The SANFL Women’s fixture has saved the best until last this week, with a top-of-the-table clash between two undefeated sides in West Adelaide and North Adelaide. The preliminary finalists from last year have defeated Norwood and Woodville-West Torrens in the opening two rounds of the season, whilst reigning premiers North Adelaide defeated South Adelaide and Glenelg to also enter this contest at 2-0. Unfortunately for the Bloods, they have lost some serious experience with Chelsea Biddell bouncing straight back up to Adelaide’s AFL Women’s side, Madison Newman injured and Melanie Elsegood and Louella McCarthy also out. The quartet booted five of the Westies seven goals last week, so coach Mark Moody will need to shuffle the magnets. Into the side come the likes of Samantha Ramm, and Nicole Hooper to take over the key position roles of Biddell and Elsegood, while six other players have been added to an extended bench. For North, they have added two players to the side with Chloe Short in line to make her debut, and Olivia Gallio named in the team for the first time since the 2020 SANFL Women’s Grand Final.

The Bloods defence has been steady this season with the inclusion of Sharnie Whiting at centre half-back, she has provide the strong intercept marking ability, with 15-year-old young gun Lauren Young also providing support by dropping back there and earning a Breakthrough Player of the Week nomination in Round 1. West Adelaide have an abundance of youth, and it showed when hard nut Zoe Venning attacked the contest last week and came away with her nomination for Round 2 after a dazzling 25-disposal performance. With Keeley Kustermann another one with high-end potential, West Adelaide have no shortage of talent running around. The Roosters have a Rising Star of their own in Hannah Ewings who won the Breakthrough Player Award in 2020 after also earning a nomination in debut. She teams up well in midfield with another young talent in Jaimi Tabb, as well as the experience of Leah Tynan and Lauren Daniel. The Roosters are able to roll players in different positions around the field, with Brianna Arthur able to play forward or midfield, Kate Case in defence or midfield, and Julia Clark pushing further up the ground from her traditional deep defence role. Zoe Greer and Venning will be looking for feeds from Kate Walsh in midfield, and hoping to create some scoring opportunities up front. It will be difficult with the two rocks in defence in Kristi Harvey and Talia Radan who have proven near impenetrable at times.

The reigning premiers look stronger on paper with the two AFL Women’s talents and experienced players out for the Bloods, so it will be up to the youth of West Adelaide to step up and match it with the Roosters who have so much versatility there are plenty of backup plans if the magnets need to be shuffled on gameday.

Picture credit: On The Ball Media

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 1 preview: Grand Final rematch opens season

AFTER a shorter-than-usual wait for the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition to restart due to the delayed 2020 season, the eight sides are ready to go in 2021 starting tonight.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Friday, February 26 @ 6.30pm
Coopers Stadium

What better way is there to open a new SANFL Women’s season than with a grand final rematch? The opening game of the double-header at Coopers Stadium sees North Adelaide take on South Adelaide in a massive clash. The Roosters will be able to unfurl the flag against the Panthers, which should give both teams plenty of motivation. It is worth noting that they will be without a number of AFL Women’s talents which means others will have the chance to step up in their place.

Full-forward Kelly Barltrop will be hungry for success after being unlucky to miss out on last year’s flag, while Kristi Harvey has been named at centre half-forward. With league best and fairest winner Anne Hatchard and leading goalkicker Ashleigh Woodland both playing for the Crows in the AFL Women’s the Roosters will need to look for others to play a role. Jaimi Tabb has crossed from the Eagles to Roosters, while Glenelg ruck revelation Soriah Moon will now pull on the Panthers’ jumper. Providing a formidable tag-team with Montana McKinnon, South should get first hands to it, and with a midfield containing the likes of Czenya Cavouras and Nicole Campbell, they will be hard to beat.

Gypsy Schirmer is the young gun to watch from the Panthers with the half-forward an excitement machine, whilst the same can be said for reigning Rising Star Hannah Ewings who will have added responsibility this season. Throw in Leah Tynan and Lauren Daniel through the onball, and the likes of Cristie Castle and Brianna Arthur able to rotate between midfield and forward, and the Roosters have plenty of options. It will be great to see full-back Sarah Wright return for the Panthers, with both her and Lauren Clifton providing some great stability in the defence.

This match is hard to predict, with either team capable of getting up, and both have a great history of just getting the job done. Just for the home fans the edge might go to North, but there is something about the South lineup that looks ready to strike.

NORWOOD vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Friday, February 26 @ 8.15pm
Coopers Stadium

The second match of the double-header is predicted to be just as good, with reigning preliminary finalists West Adelaide locking horns with the side they dispelled in the elimination final, Norwood. West Adelaide have a huge opportunity to make the next step up, with such a large contingent of state league players remaining at the club, and then bringing in some serious talent such as key defender Sharnie Whiting from Carlton.

The youth of West Adelaide cannot be stated enough, with Zoe Venning a standout in terms of this year, and then over the next two years, the Bloods have Keeley Kustermann and then Lauren Young respectively who both loom as great talents. Venning will start off half-forward and look to push into the midfield, while Kustermann will form a new partnership with South Adelaide’s Natalie Gibbs off half-back with Madison Newman likely to have Crows AFL Women’s duties this season. The 15-year-old Young has been thrown into the deep end to start in the midfield, potentially on the experienced Sophie Armitstead.

Norwood have an array of young talent themselves, with Alana Lishmund named on a wing, and Jade Halfpenny surprisingly named in defence after making her name as a leading forward predominantly last season. Tesharna Maher is a new name in the Norwood line-up, having crossed from Eagles over the break. Melanie Elsegood is a player to stop for West, with the Norwood defence looking strong, as Isabel Martin has been named back there, while the likes of Jess Macolino will come off the bench to have an impact.

West Adelaide could well be the team to beat this season, and therefore should be favourites in this game, but Norwood has some exciting young talents as well to watch out for, in what should be an entertaining game.

STURT vs. GLENELG
Saturday, February 27 @ 10.40am
X Convenience Oval

Fast forward to Saturday and two sides looking to make a strong start to the season after missing finals do battle in Sturt and Glenelg. The Double Blues were actually strong defensively last season, but they just struggled to score at times, whilst the Bays were ultra-impressive in some games, and then just not themselves in others, so will be eyeing off some consistency in 2021. It will be a big game for Caitlyn Swanson who has cross from the Double Blues to the Bays this season and will come off the bench in Round 1.

Glenelg has some some developing talents to watch out for, with top-ager Brooke Tonon alongside over-ager Madisyn Freeman at half-forward. They will be looking to create some run and carry going inside 50, with the likes of Tamsyn Morriss and Sam Franson transitioning from the wings. Looking strong as outside movers, Tessa Kohn has been slotted in at half-back after being predominantly an inside midfielder last season, while Lucy Armitage will never take a backwards step and is also in defence. Without Ebony Marinoff and Eloise Jones the Bays will need other midfielders to step up, but they have the depth there.

The Double Blues have some of the best young talent running around, and the depth through the key position options is showing, with Zoe Prowse now running around as a midfielder instead of ruck. The 180cm talent has the athleticism to beat much smaller opponents, and she will provide a point of difference at ground level. Alex Ballard looks set for a move into the midfield, while other over-agers such as Hannah Prenzler (half-back) and Isobel Kuiper (half-forward) will be better for another season. Add in top-ager Georgia Swan at centre half-forward, and the inclusion of Eagles’ Chloe Forby, and the Double Blues are starting to build some firepower.

It will be another tough match to pick, and without Georgia Bevan – having been picked up late to Gold Coast Suns – more will fall to the likes of Maya Rigter for Sturt, but they have the young talent to get it done. One cannot discount Glenelg though, as they have some great outside movers.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
Saturday, February 27 @ 12.25pm
X Convenience Oval

The final match of the round takes place with Central District hosting Woodville-West Torrens in a battle of the league’s two newest clubs. Though now into their third seasons, both the Bulldogs and Eagles are becoming well established, and if 2020 is anything to go off, they should be more competitive again. Without a heap of AFL Women’s talent last season, both these sides are well adapted to being without that top level experience, which puts them in good stead to have plenty of developing young guns coming through the programs.

The Bulldogs were one of the more exciting teams in 2020 even if their results may not have shown it. They were willing to run the ball forward, and with the need for speed, were taking it up to sides. Latiah Huynh is a perfect example of the way the Dogs play – with speed and tenacity, as well as confidence – and teaming up with fellow youngster Lauren Breguet in the forward half, Central District will look to share the load outside of notable goalkicker Katelyn Rosenzweig. Eagles’ key position utility Kiana Lee has been named at full-back with Anastasia Falkenberg another reliable talent in defence, as is Jamie Parish.

The midfield battle will be just as intriguing with new captain and reigning best and fairest winner Shelby Smith leading the Bulldogs onball, and the likes of Caitlen Teague and Lauren Smith in there. A couple of experienced recruits in Paige Allan and Nicole Mark among those inclusions into the Bulldogs’ line-up, while Madison Lane is a top-age talent with reliable foot skills from defence, while Demi Sonneman is always one to watch coming out of the back 50. A big inclusion for the Eagles is former South Adelaide raw ruck/forward prospect Brooklyn Kraft who will make her debut amongst a host of new faces coming out of the local leagues, while Kiley Green has made the move from the ACT and been named at centre-half back. Charlotte Dolan and Jovanka Zecevic are others to keep an eye on in the match for the Eagles.

Central District has beefed up its side in 2021, with more experience to settle the youth down and the Dogs could start favourite in this one, though the Eagles are always tough to score against.

Picture credit: SANFL

SANFL Women’s season review: Central District

CENTRAL District is the first team up in our South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season review series as we look at the eight sides in reverse ladder order and who their 2020 seasons went down.

Position: 8th
Wins: 2
Losses: 8

2020 IN A NUTSHELL

Coming off a seventh placed finish in their inaugural season last year, Central District was predicted to show some great signs of improvement. Whilst ultimately they did finish a spot lower and take out the wooden spoon, it is fair to say their overall season was much improved on 2019. They had the two wins from 10 games, which were a Round 1 win over Norwood and a Round 7 triumph over Woodville-West Torrens Eagles. The Bulldogs had a tough second half of the season fixture, and had they potentially played more of the bottom four sides, they could well have notched up another win or two. All in all, their gameplay – which was often fast and exciting – was superior to other teams, it was just about the execution inside 50. If that area can be ironed out, then watch out in 2021.

AFL WOMEN’S ALL-STARS GAME REPRESENTATIVES:

Laitiah Huynh

A 17-year-old speedy mid-forward who could break the lines and cause all sorts of havoc for the opposition. She showed clean hands at ground level, and coupled with her athleticism, was able to be a crucial link in the chain between midfield and the forward 50. Huynh was also not afraid to lay some big tackles on more experienced opponents.

Madison Lane

A versatile player who really settled into defence in the latter half of the season. She was able to improve her one-on-one ability and provide some drive up the defensive end, and showed she has the capability of playing forward, after kicking a goal against Norwood in Round 1. Another 17-year-old prospect who improved well after earning the honour of captaining South Australia at Under 16s level.

Katelyn Rosenzweig

Already having been drafted to the Crows and then unfortunately delisted due to the strength there, Rosenzweig is easily a type who can play at the next level. She is strong overhead, has a sixth sense for goals and is rarely beaten in a wrestle. More often than not she is a reliable shot for goal, and led the club’s goalkicking in season 2020.

Shelby Smith

One of the surprise packets of the competition this year. Expect her to potentially take out the Bulldogs best and fairest after a sensational year on debut. At 28-years-old, Smith was hard at the ball, loved a scrap and never took a backwards step. She was a clearance gem and beat a few experienced AFL Women’s talents at times around the contest.

OTHERS WHO STOOD OUT:

  • Sarah Allan
  • Demi Sonneman
  • Alicia Butler
  • Lauren Smith
  • Lauren Breguet
  • Caitlen Teague

It is hard to look past the consistency of AFL Women’s ruck/key defender Sarah Allan, and 2019 best and fairest winner, Demi Sonneman. Allan came into the team after the break and was exactly what they needed – a tall marking target with a booming kick – while Sonneman hardly played a bad game. She had the toughest job on the last line of defence, and even if she made mistakes, would back up and go again. Others who stepped in season 2020 included Caitlen Teague, Alicia Butler and Lauren Smith through the midfield, and 16-year-old Lauren Breguet who came into the side in Round 3 and continually improved until the end of the season, which will make her better for 2021.

Summary

Central District was one of the more exciting teams to watch, particularly in the second half of the season. Yes, the Bulldogs made mistakes going inside 50 and the counter attack on turnover could often be costly, but the way they tried to move the ball with speed and cause hazardous inside 50 entries worked at times. Even against South Adelaide late in the season, if they had been cleaner and made more of their opportunities, they could have caused a boil-over. All in all, Central should be really excited about the future because their 2020 season was a step up from their 2019 one, regardless of ladder position.

SANFL Women’s League Best & Fairest preview

TONIGHT is the night that the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s Best and Fairest award is run and won ahead of Sunday afternoon’s decider. From 7.45pm, the league will announce its top player of the season, as well as the SANFL Women’s Team of the Year. North Adelaide’s Ashleigh Woodland already claimed the leading goalkicker award this season, and is among a host of favourites for the overall gong.

CENTRAL DISTRICT:

Top Contender: Shelby Smith

The midfielder played consistent four quarter football throughout the season to be named among her team’s best seven of a possible 10 times this year. The only issue for her will be that Central only won a couple of games, so if she picks up votes it will be the minor votes. Still a ripping season.

Other contenders: Demi Sonneman, Katelyn Rosenzweig, Sarah Allan

Last year’s club best and fairest winner in Sonneman has held up at full-back throughout the year and has dash and dare which catches the umpire’s eye. Rosenzweig was unstoppable when on fire and took out the club’s leading goalkicker award again with 14 majors in 10 games, while Allan only played the six games, but will no doubt pick up some votes as she was among the best on ground even in some losses.

GLENELG:

Top Contender: Caitlin Gould

The Bays are a tough one to determine because they had players that stepped up in different games, but probably not enough, nor enough wins to really cement a standout player for the award. Gould is one who catches the eye with her ruck work, forward craft and goalkicking, and she played seven games which is more than the other AFL Women’s talent on the list.

Other possible contenders: Madisyn Freeman, Sam Franson, Ellie Kellock

It was a very even team performance this year from Glenelg, and hard to determine who will take the votes. It is imagined that they will split the votes very evenly this season, with teenager Freeman always a popular one with the coaches – eight of 10 bests – as well as the tenacious Franson working hard, and Kellock rotating between midfield and defence.

NORTH ADELAIDE:

Top Contender: Ash Woodland

Coming off a brilliant season where Woodland claimed the SANFL Women’s goalkicking award, the mid/forward also shone being named among the best in nearly all of her matches. She looms as the top chance from the minor premiership-winning side, but in terms of votes, expect it to be spread.

Other possible contenders: Hannah Ewings, Anne Hatchard, Katelyn Pope

Legitimately there could be a list into double-digits such is the depth of the club. Hatchard should rack up multiple best on grounds and despite only playing the five games, could pick up double-digit votes easily. Ewings is eye-catching with her speed and ability to hit the scoreboard, with the 16-year-old having a remarkable debut season. Pope is another who catches the eye with her run down the wings, but she played a couple less games than the others which may hurt the voting chances.

NORWOOD:

Top Contender: Matilda Zander

Much like North Adelaide, the players will share votes and it could well be one of a number of players who gets lucky enough to poll plenty. In this case we have opted for Zander because of her ability to hit the scoreboard, provide forward pressure and also run around the ground. But there could be half a dozen names that deserve to be there.

Other possible contenders: Sophie Armitstead, Najwa Allen, Jess Macolino

Last year’s winner in Allen always has to be considered given it is proven she catches the umpire’s eye. With only six games this season though, will it be enough? She had others who will fight for votes off her such as the reliable Armitstead who could really be a surprise packet for the Redlegs in the vote count, while Macolino burst onto the scene late and was named in the best in each of her six games.

SOUTH ADELAIDE:

Top Contender: Teah Charlton

It feels like even when Charlton is not amongst the best players on the ground, she does something that catches the eye in the match that umpires will remember later. While it is hard to pick how South’s votes will go down with so many players lining up, Charlton will no doubt be amongst it given how much ball she wins and can kick goals.

Other possible contenders: Tahlia Meyer, Indy Tahau, Nicole Campbell

As already mentioned, it is likely players will take votes off each other with the greatest depth going through the list. Meyer might be the most consistent of the lost each week, whiler Campbell managed the eight games which should be enough for votes ahead of some other AFL Women’s talents. Tahau always does something that features in the highlights so will naturally attract votes.

STURT:

Top Contender: Zoe Prowse

The 2021 AFL Women’s Draft prospect might be a sneaky chance here, but it will depend on how favourable the umpires are to giving votes in a losing team effort. Prowse was by far the most dominant ruck in the competition for a stretch with her athleticism and consistency despite being overwhelmed on the scoreboard, which is where it might not quite be enough as the votes will likely be minor ones.

Other possible contenders: Georgia Bevan, Maya Rigter, Kate Harris

The co-captains were consistent all year and Bevan will arguably attract the most, potentially even more than Prowse given league best and fairests are midfielder’s awards. Rigter has worked hard throughout the season, while Harris has stepped up playing every game and was named amongst the best six times.

WEST ADELAIDE:

Top Contender: Rachelle Martin

For the overall winner, our prediction is pocket rocket Martin. The uncompromising midfielder was named among the best just about every single week and deservedly so. She made our Team of the Week seven times, and the Westies won more than enough games to suggest she will pick up some threes for best on ground.

Other possible contenders: Zoe Venning, Maddie Newman, Stevie-Lee Thompson

When it comes to umpire votes, it is often those who catch the eye the most, and the Bloods have no shortage of players that fit the bill. Venning had a huge season through the midfield and playing forward, Newman has a super boot that you cannot miss, and Thompson was a match winner on more than one occasion. They might split the votes as a team.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS:

Top Contender: Kiana Lee

The Eagles were the most even team in terms of best players this season in our opinion, and Lee just gets the nod for her work at both ends. Kicking 11 goals in 10 games, which included playing out of full-back late in the year, her contested marking and long kicking will no doubt be something the umpires look at for votes.

Other possible contenders: Jovanka Zecevic, Tesharna Maher, Amie Blanden

It is hard to pinpoint those who will take the votes given the evenness of the team, but Zecevic was one of the most consistent Eagles throughout the year, Maher provided line-breaking speed out of defence, and Blanden was always solid through the middle going forward.

PREDICTION:

It is far from obvious which way the votes will go this year, but our tip is West Adelaide’s Rachelle Martin who had the most consistent season of any player, and was able to play every game. Others who will challenge her include Teah Charlton, Ash Woodland, Anne Hatchard and possibly Zoe Prowse.