Tag: hannah ewings

2021 AFLW U19 Championships state preview: South Australia

IN the first of our 2021 AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships state preview, we take a look at South Australia, a team that has plenty of talent across the board and is growing stronger by the year. The Croweaters have developed such a talent program that squeezing a list down to just 30 players – let alone the finalised 24 by the first bounce of the championships – has meant that South Australia will go it alone as a state in 2021. For the first time at the championships, South Australia will no longer form the Central Allies and instead join Western Australia and Queensland as a standalone state team, alongside the two Victorian sides in Country and Metro, and the newly combined Allies side which has accommodated Northern Territory to join the Eastern Allies duo of NSW/ACT and Tasmania.

2021 SOUTH AUSTRALIA AFLW U19 CHAMPIONSHIPS SQUAD:

#1 Laitiah Huynh (Central District)
#2 Sarah Branford (Norwood)
#3 Kate Case (North Adelaide)
#4 Madison Lane (Central District)
#5 Lauren Breguet (Central District)
#6 Gypsy Schirmer (South Adelaide)
#7 Brooke Tonon (Glenelg)
#8 Charlotte Dolan (WWT Eagles)
#9 Tahlita Buethke (South Adelaide)
#10 Zoe Prowse (Sturt)
#11 Zoe Venning (West Adelaide)
#12 Tamsyn Morriss (Glenelg)
#13 Hannah Ewings (North Adelaide)
#14 Amelie Borg (North Adelaide)
#15 Alana Lishmund (Norwood)
#16 Georgia Swan (Sturt)
#17 Scarlett Griffiths (West Adelaide)
#18 Jess Williams (Norwood)
#19 Alex Ballard (Sturt)
#20 Hannah Prenzler (Sturt)
#21 Lauren Clifton (South Adelaide)
#22 Tamika May (West Adelaide)
#23 Julia Clark (North Adelaide)
#24 Keeley Kustermann (West Adelaide)
#25 Jamie Parish (WWT Eagles)
#26 Sarah Wright (South Adelaide)
#27 Jorja Eldridge (North Adelaide)
#28 Jade Halfpenny (Norwood)
#29 Brooklyn Kraft (WWT Eagles)
#30 Lauren Young (West Adelaide)

QUICK SUMMARY:

South Australia has plenty of talent across the board, which has been steadily growing over the past few years. The make-up of the initial squad of 30, features 11 players who are in their top-age year (2002-born turning 19-year-olds), 15 players in their first draft-eligible year (2003-born turning 18-year-olds), three bottom-age players (2004-born turning 17-year-olds) and remarkably, one exceptional 15-year-old in West Adelaide’s Lauren Young. South Australia will cut its list down to 24 by the end of the week, but a number of cuts priors – as well as recent changes – have been guided by injury, such as Abbie Ballard, Abbey Hardwick and Jaida Tabb who were all viewed as developing talents to don the state guernsey. Recent injuries to Hannah Ewings and Brooklyn Kraft are also a concern with the championships rapidly approaching.

FIXTURES:

R1 vs. Western Australia (March 28 @ Flinders University Stadium)
R2 vs. Queensland (April 12 @ Metricon Stadium)
R3 vs. Allies (April 15 @ Metricon Stadium)

FIVE TO WATCH: (2003-BORN)

Zoe Prowse (Sturt)

The 177cm ruck is the fourth tallest player in the squad, and will carry the ruck load at the championships. With fellow ruck Kraft under an injury cloud, Prowse will have the responsibility of the state in the role, but it will be something she can easily handle. What stands out about Prowse is not just her athletic leap, but also her ground level work and speed around the ground. Having played more as a midfielder when another ruck is available for the Double Blues, Prowse highlights her versatility across the ground. Her second efforts at ground level – such as tackling opponents after making the tap is something that really stands outs, and the AFL Women’s Academy member is no doubt going to cause some worries for opposition rucks with her follow-up work.

Gypsy Schirmer (South Adelaide)

The other AFL Women’s Academy member who was included in the Academy this year, Schirmer’s athletic traits – in particular her speed – are off the charts. She can go from zero to 100 in the blink of an eye, applying plenty of defensive pressure around the ground. Having plied her trade as a forward in her bottom-age year, Schirmer’s highlight-reel worthy marks and goals were soon accompanied by some fierce running and work rate on a wing in 2021. She still rotates between the two positions, and expect her to do so at the championships. She has a high footy IQ which she uses to create opportunities out of nothing, and at 178cm – and a lack of talls in the side – she could easily slot in as a key forward if required, then roll into the midfield and add that touch of speed and class.

Zoe Venning (West Adelaide)

Already one of the standout inside midfielders, Venning has an even bigger role crashing and bashing with Ewings out due to her ankle injury. The midfielder-forward won a Breakthrough Player nomination in Round 2 for the SANFL Women’s, and has enjoyed a really consistent season after showing promising signs in her bottom-age year. Whilst always looking to improve her skill, Venning has no fear and will throw herself at the contest and win the hard ball to shovel out to teammates. Like any good midfielder, Venning knows her way around goals too, and can play off half-forward or even rest at full-forward as a leading target. She is someone expected to have a real impact around the ball against the other states.

Madison Lane (Central)

The Bulldogs talent started her SANFL Women’s career as a forward and has transitioned into a rebounding defender, looking a natural back there with her slick skills and clean hands. She reads the ball well in flight and moves well, playing taller than her 162cm might suggest. She captained South Australia at Under 16s level, so has the state experience under her belt, and will be one of a number of talented rebounding defenders in the squad. With a high priority placed on hitting targets coming out of defence, expect Lane to be a player teammates look to get the ball in the hands of regularly.

Brooke Tonon (Glenelg)

Enjoying a purple patch at the perfect time leading into the championships, the speedy wing is finding plenty of the ball at League level. After making her debut last year for the Bays, Tonon has gone from playing deep at either end, to a certified midfielder, using her run and carry to advantage. She possesses a long kick and has a neat sidestep that she uses to evade opponents. Having notched up 20 touches on the weekend, she has no problems finding the ball, and she will be a player used in transition for her speed. Still lightly-built, Tonon attacks the contest hard and lays some fierce tackles.

OTHERS:

Georgia Swan is a pressure forward with elite endurance and a work rate to be enviable of that will work over opposition defender, whilst the likes of Alana Lishmund, Kate Case, Lauren Breguet and Lauren Clifton are all easily among the more consistent contributors for their League side. From a top-age perspective, the two most in-form players at SANFL Women’s level are Jade Halfpenny and Laitiah Huynh who will feature in the front half, while Alex Ballard and Hannah Prenzler are anticipated to do the same up the other end.

SQUAD STRENGTHS:

  • Defensive pressure
  • Speed
  • Rebounding defenders
  • Skill

South Australia will be an undoubtedly exciting unit, with the Croweaters’ defensive pressure, rebounding abilities and general skill across the board among the strengths of the side in comparison to other states. It will be exciting to see the likes of Huynh and Swan up forward roving the ball and creating some slick chances for their teammates, whilst up the other end, South Australia has an abundance of rebounding defender. Lane, Prenzler, Ballard, Lauren Clifton, Jamie Parish, Keeley Kustermann, Charlotte Dolan and Tamsyn Morriss can all play that role if required, with the likelihood through the the versatile Ballard and Dolan will play through the midfield, and Parish capable of even going forward. In terms of skill, Lane and Huynh have been using the ball terrifically of late, Morriss is known for her pinpoint passes, and Prenzler and Kustermann are also amongst the most balanced players running around.

In terms of areas where South Australia might struggle, height is definitely a question mark, with a number of midfielders – such as Young and Schirmer – more likely to play key position roles at times. With Kraft’s injury it leaves Prowse as the dedicated ruck – and what a number one ruck to have – which will mean Jorja Eldridge who returned to the SANFL Women’s last weekend, will step up as the second ruck role at 173cm. Halfpenny is traditional a key forward and will likely stay there given this conundrum, but did have an impressive game through the midfield on the weekend.

LAST WORD:

South Australia will be an exciting team to watch, there is no doubt about that. They have plenty of footy IQ, defensive pressure and skill, with an abundance of defenders likely to cause headaches for opposition states. If they had a full-strength side – no injuries – to pick from, then the team would be even stronger, but the depth of the state is very good, and all eyes will be on the youngest player at the carnival – Young – who has already made waves at League level.

Picture credit: On The Ball Media

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

2021 Academy Watch: SANFL Women’s – Round 3

SOUTH Australia has plenty of young talent that is impressing at South Australian National Football League (SANFL) level. With four games played every weekend, we will cast our eyes over how the 2021 Under 19s State Academy squad members performed. All notes are the opinion of the author.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE

Central:

#40 Madison Lane

Player her best game of the season, building on her performance from the week before. The reliable defender used the ball well and is one who teammates rely on with ball-in-hand. She has equal measures of defence and offence with her tackling pressure and rebounding ability. One who cracks in with her tackles and is not afraid to put her body on the line. One of the Bulldogs’ best in the narrow loss and building nicely towards the AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships.

#41 Laitiah Huynh

Had a really good first quarter to be able to mark early in the game and then lace out a pass to Katelyn Rosenzweig on a flank. She is quick to dispose of the ball by hand or foot, and showed she might have the quickest hands in the business with an absolute blink-and-you-miss it handball to set up the last goal 20 minutes into the final term. Clean at ground level and able to have the footy smarts to intercept in close, while she did not kick a goal, she set up scoring opportunities and provided defensive pressure which is all you could ask from a small forward.

South:

#1 Tahlita Buethke

After a quieter first half, Buethke immediately had an impact in the third term by launching from the centre square out of the stoppage, then ran to the next contest and handballed to Jess Kirk to set up a goal. She continued to win the ball in close and move around, taking a strong mark in the middle of the ground in the fourth term, and then had a couple of kicks in quick succession going forward.

#5 Sarah Wright

Showed good defensive pressure down back and was able to be composed with ball-in-hand. She had a moment she would probably take back when deep in defence thinking the ball was over the line and Central kept playing and ran in and kicked a goal from a tight angle. Aside from that she was able to provide good presence in defence despite not winning as much as some weeks.

#36 Gypsy Schirmer

Started on a wing and roamed all over the field as usual. With high-level footy smarts and terrific athleticism, Schirmer just gets to the right spots and is able to cleanly scoop the ball off the deck. Her intercept ability was on show in the match, as well as her work rate to kick forward then follow up at the next stoppage. When rushing she can sometimes throw the ball on the boot, but her ground coverage and ability to not only find space, but apply defensive pressure is a highlight of her game, and she has no trouble racking up big numbers and being a playmaker forward of centre.

#41 Lauren Clifton

A quieter game from Clifton compared to past weeks, just having the six touches, mostly handballs in close. She had a nice pickup off the deck midway through the third term but was picked off by Huynh. She is strong at ground level through her smarts and remains a player who is strong in transition.

 

NORWOOD vs. STURT

Norwood:

#22 Jade Halfpenny

Always someone who just plays their role and still catches the eye, the key forward had an early blemish with a 50-metre penalty for getting too close to the person about to kick, but quickly got into the action with a clean pickup, then laid a big defensive tackle. She was clean at ground level and quick along the wing, aiming to kick deep inside 50. At times, Halfpenny would drop back into defence and help out, but her best moment came in the fourth term where she tucked the ball under the arm and ran through midfield to kick long inside 50. She almost set up the match-winner a minute later to Isabel Martin after a great clearance from the throw-in.

#30 Sarah Branford

It might seem odd, but Branford might have played the best statless game one could imagine. There were several players in the match who had low numbers, and Branford did not register a disposal, but her attack on the contest, and ability to get to the right spots – even just front position in a marking contest where she was undersized – was enough to suggest she was switched on. Her would-be kick was smothered early in the game, but she kept pressing throughout the game.

Sturt:

#3 Georgia Swan

Had a solid game across the board and looked active and lively throughout, crumbing the ball cleanly in the opening term, and winning most of her touches inside 50 and up to half-forward. She had a shot on goal when she was tackled by a couple of players in the third term but her set shot tugged to the left. Swan put the ball in a good scoring position for a teammate to score in the final term as well.

#19 Alex Ballard

Stepped up and played arguably her best game of the season thus far, contributing through each of the four quarters with her intercepting ability a kick behind play or at half-back, then pumping the ball forward. She took a great one-on-one mark against Halfpenny five minutes into the opening term, and took a crucial intercept mark close to goal early in the final quarter as some of her highlights in the match.

#20 Hannah Prenzler

Sometimes the game does not go your way and unfortunately for the talented rebounder, it was just one of those games. Prenzler did not do anything particularly wrong, she was active around the ground and laid a couple of good tackles, but did not register a disposal. It was more the ball just did not come to her or she was used in transition as much as usual more than her not doing enough because she was always around.

#30 Zoe Prowse

No surprise to see the ruck had another good game around the ground and presented well with some strong marks and highlight plays. She was huge in the air and her work rate and second efforts exemplary again. She laid a fantastic run down tackle on the wing nine minutes into the game and while the second half she did not win as much of it, she still showed off her athleticism in a great ruck battle with the experienced Leah Cutting.

 

WWT EAGLES vs. GLENELG

Eagles:

#8 Charlotte Dolan

Copped hit after hit in a bruising encounter but the hardnut just kept bouncing up time and time again. She might not have won a truckload of the ball, but her contested work and defensive efforts were incredibly memorable. She laid plenty of tackles or bumps and shepherds across the ground and ran down an opponent late in the first term to rush a behind. She was not able to be super efficient with her disposal which was not helped by the wet, but her positioning at the stoppage, such as in the 15-minute mark where she was able to win the ball and drive it forward. She also sensibly held onto it in the back 50 to wind down time in the final 60 seconds of the game for the Eagles to win.

#25 Jamie Parish

Not a huge game from Parish who just had the six touches, but her defensive work in the wet was impressive. She laid a number of tackles, and assisted her teammates in applying defensive pressure to the opposition. Late in the first term she showed lightning quick hands to handball to a teammate under pressure, then in the last quarter, Parish laid a fierce tackle on the wing.

#33 Brooklyn Kraft

Left the game early with a knee injury after playing through the ruck. Had a few good early taps at the stoppages, then laid a big front-on tackle six minutes into the second term, with her aggression at the ball carrier great.

Glenelg:

#7 Brooke Tonon

Played another promising game finding plenty of the pill playing off a wing. Not only did she roam up and down the ground, but she managed to find it at half-forward and in the back 50. She took a few intercept marks and then aided the defence during the Bays’ loss. Her kicking when under pressure could be a bit rushed, but when opening up the game with some run she used it efficiently. Her clean pickup and spin early in the match was eye-catching.

#12 Tamsyn Morriss

As clean as they come in the wet, and while most of her plays were under pressure in the back 50, Morriss played with a dry footy compared to everyone else. As others were struggling to pick it up, she would scoop it off the deck like it was a summer scorcher. Her best play came five minutes into the final term where she had an elite pickup on the move, then weighted the kick perfectly in front of a teammate on a 45-degree angle at half-forward.

 

WEST ADELAIDE vs. NORTH ADELAIDE

West:

#8 Keeley Kustermann

The West Adelaide bottom-ager does not need a lot of touches to do damage and this was the case again. So clean on either side and by hand or foot, she has the footy smarts to impact the play without a disposal or even before the ball is in the area be it in a marking contest or at ground level with subtle bumps or moves. Her work rate is high level and she will kick forward, then be ready for the next contest, covering the ground with ease and looking for 1-2 plays to be used in transition and moving the ball from defence to offence.

#9 Zoe Venning

After a massive game last week, Venning still had a really solid match across the board, never taking a backwards step. She cracked in for four quarters and was the recipient of a host of free kicks, both for high tackles, in the back or being there for the last touch rule. She looked to kick long at every opportunity and worked hard throughout the contest with her first quarter being her best in terms of her ball-winning and fierce defensive efforts, though she never stopped with her effort.

#30 Lauren Young

Stood out through the midfield again and set up Gretel Ramsey in the first quarter for what would be West Adelaide’s only goal of the match. She won a ton of the ball across the ground and took a number of intercept marks yet again, including one late in the second term. Another highlight for Young was her ability to win the ball dashing out at full speed, not breaking stride and kicking to the top of defensive 50. At times under pressure she would just clear the ball for distance, but when having time and space she can really launch and hit targets from short or long distances.

North:

#31 Hannah Ewings

Unfortunately had to come off with what looked like a serious ankle injury nine minutes into the second term, but not without having an impact in the first quarter and a half. Tightly watched at stoppages, Ewings kicked a great goal from outside 50 off a couple of steps for it to casually bounce through. She won a free kick for being held and kept working hard around the ground.

#33 Julia Clark

Showed quick hands in the defensive area, and while at times was overzealous with her attack or rushed a disposal, the thing that really stood out about Clark was her determination to mop up any mistakes. As example, she had a scrubber kick on the wing that was turned over, but chased it up and won the ball back through hard work before handballing to a teammate then providing a block. She did it again in the third term where she missed a handball, mopped it up to win it, her kick was smothered then produced a third effort to win it back and handballed to a teammate.

#38 Kate Case

Had a quieter game than usual because she was not able to have as much space to use her run-and-gun game, but still used hands in close well and was clean at ground level. Her tackling pressure on a couple of occasions was impressive as she roamed from half-back to the wing, and still contributed in the Roosters’ victory.

 

Picture credit: Cory Sutton / SANFL

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 Team of the Week: Round 2

UNDEFEATED sides, North Adelaide and West Adelaide have topped this week’s Draft Central South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s Team of the Week with four representatives apiece in the 24-player squad. North Adelaide’s quartet features three players who made it the week before, while West have a couple of fresh faces rejoining back-to-back nominees.

West Adelaide youngster Zoe Venning captains the team this week after an outstanding performance with 25 disposals, two marks, five tackles, four inside 50s, two rebounds and one goal. She is joined by tall target Chelsea Biddell, as well as back-to-back nominees, Sharnie Whiting and last week’s captain, Lauren Young in the side.

North Adelaide’s Kristi Harvey locks down full-back once again and has been handed the vice-captaincy for her performance which was highlighted by 14 disposals and seven rebounds. Partner-in-crime Talia Radan is in the back pocket next to her, whilst young gun Hannah Ewings, and draft-eligible talent Kate Case are also in the side.

Norwood’s win over South Adelaide saw the Redlegs receive three nominations in the side, with consistent midfielder Jess Macolino named in the centre of the ground. Forward Jade Halfpenny and tall utility Mattea Breed are the others to earn places in the team this week. Their opponents South Adelaide also had three players nominated, with ruck Montana McKinnon staking her case for an AFL Women’s recall, as Nicole Campbell and Jaslynne Smith both made the side too. South’s Lauren Clifton was close to making the side and was named as an emergency this week.

Sturt’s first win of the season meant three teenagers worked their way into the side, with top-age talents, Hannah Prenzler and Isobel Kuiper both in the starting team at half-back and onball respectively, while ruck Zoe Prowse will provide backup to McKinnon. Their opponents Central District also recorded three players in the side, with tenacious forward Laitiah Huynh making the team for a second consecutive week, this time joined by midfielders, Caitlen Teague (wing) and Shelby Smith (interchange). Katelyn Rosenzweig was named as one of three emergencies in the team.

The two sides which recorded just the two players in the team had an even spread across the board and made it difficult to pick best players. For Glenelg, defender Sheridan Howell, and midfielder Brooke Tonon were the final inclusions, with Piper Window named as an emergency. Woodville-West Torrens Eagles had two players at different ends of the experience scale, with Adelaide AFL Women’s player Renee Forth, and Under 16s talent, Shineah Goody slotting onto flanks at opposite ends of the field.

DRAFT CENTRAL SANFL WOMEN’S TEAM OF THE WEEK: ROUND 2

B: Talia Radan (NA) – Kristi Harvey (NA) (vc) – Sheridan Howell (GL)
HB: Renee Forth (WWT) – Sharnie Whiting (WA) – Hannah Prenzler (ST)
C: Zoe Venning (WA) (c) – Jess Macolino (NW) – Caitlen Teague (CD)
HF: Hannah Ewings (NA) – Chelsea Biddell (WA) – Shineah Goody (WWT)
F: Jade Halfpenny (NW) – Mattea Breed (NW) – Laitiah Huynh (CD)
R: Montana McKinnon (SA) – Isobel Kuiper (ST) – Nicole Campbell (SA)
INT:  Kate Case (NA) – Zoe Prowse (ST) – Jaslynne Smith (SA) – Shelby Smith (CD) –  Brooke Tonon (GL) – Lauren Young (WA)

EMG: Lauren Clifton (SA) – Katelyn Rosenzweig (CD) – Piper Window (GL)

2021 Academy Watch: SANFL Women’s – Round 2

SOUTH Australia has plenty of young talent that is impressing at South Australian National Football League (SANFL) level. With four games played every weekend, we will cast our eyes over how the 2021 State Academy – including initial squad members – perform each week. In some cases, such as Lauren Young this week, there might be some young guns who are below the age to be in the Under 19s Academy, but have impressed enough to feature in the article. All notes are the opinion of the author.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. NORWOOD

South Adelaide:

#1 Tahlita Buethke

Has some really promising athletic traits that she keeps showing in bursts. Buethke is not afraid to crack in, and was teaming up well with Lauren Clifton in defence, trying to move the ball out quickly. In the third term, she had a nice move to cleanly pick up the ball at ground level, duck a high tackle, play on and run to kick inside 50 well. With a balance of speed and clean hands, when she gets going she is really eye-catching.

#5 Sarah Wright

Built on her first game back from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury last week with an even better game this week. Playing off half-back, the defender often ran from the back 50 and pumped it long out of the danger zone. An ability to show clean hands and composure under pressure, Wright was just solid across all the quarters, and is adept at getting a hand in to spoil. One of the better Panthers on the day.

#36 Gypsy Schirmer

Not as clean with her disposal as she was the week before, but still had plenty of say on the contest. The opposition was often trying to lock down on the talent, and she even copped a knock late in the game. Luckily she was able to bounce up, but throughout the match she produced her standard array of highlights. Her footy smarts and particularly her burst speed both with ball-in-hand and without it are what put pressure on the opposition. She spreads well, and created something out of nothing six minutes into the third term with a great snap whilst being dragged down in the goalsquare. Schirmer almost booted a second goal running in but it was touched off the boot. Her second efforts were typified by being pinged for holding Leah Cutting in the forward pocket, but then making up for it by running across and smothering the ball to lock it in attack.

#41 Lauren Clifton

Started on a wing and rotated between the wing and half-back where she found her fair share of the footy. Often teaming up with Buethke and a host of fellow defenders in the back half of the ground, she seemed to have an impact throughout the match. At times she would need a couple of cracks at ground level to pick it up cleanly, but once she was up and moving she could be damaging. Clifton loves to keep the ball moving, and had a flying shot in the third term which went through for one behind.

Norwood:

#15 Alana Lishmund

Took a strong one-on-one grab on the quarter time siren, and had a few big efforts, but ultimately had a quiet game this round. She was reported in the final term for charging in an aerial contest, but showed good strength in the contest moments before. She kept running hard all game, but was not as utilised as previous weeks. Continued to apply defensive pressure on her opponents though.

#22 Jade Halfpenny

Much better than an eight-disposal, two-mark game might suggest with a number of eye-catching moments throughout the contest. The marking forward was able to kick two goals – in the second and third terms – with an amazing dribble off a one-grab pick-up, then a set shot early in the third term from just inside 50. Her ability to cleanly grab the ball off the half volley was terrific, and she showed off a nice sidestep that tricked opponents into over committing. If she had a few extra seconds here or there, she could have ended up with a couple more goals. Her field kicking was an area of improvement from the game with a few turnovers when going inside 50, but once the goals were in sight, she just knew how to find them.

#30 Sarah Branford

A pocket rocket who does not need many touches to have a memorable impact on a contest, Branford finished with just the six disposals, but a number of them came with a whole heap of metres gained. When having time and space, Branford looks to run with ball-in-hand and predominantly plays forward but can push up to a wing. Standing at only 159cm, she was caught out against the 183cm Montana McKinnon at one stage in a one-on-one, and then other taller opponents as well making life difficult. If the ball hits the deck, that is where Branford thrives, and one of her early touches in the opening minute of the third term led to a goal with a perfect low pass with great technique.

 

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. STURT

Central:

#28 Lauren Breguet

Unfortunately her day ended early when she was hurt in a tackle midway through the second term after some promising signs. Before coming off she had roamed up the field to win a number of touches, and took a good intercept mark at half-forward. While a few of her touches were cut off by the defence, the half-forward managed to rack up nine touches in less than 27 minutes of action.

#40 Madison Lane

Played her role once again in defence, and was able to clear the ball from the danger zone on a number of occasions. She is not afraid to attack the marking contest and come across as a third player to spoil, also showing off a nice sidestep at half-back to kick forward and keep it moving.

#41 Laitiah Huynh

Once again one of the best Central players throughout the game, particularly in the first three quarters. She got her side on the board early after great defensive work, converting a set shot from 35 metres out. Hunyh’s pressure game is incredible, wherever she is on the ground, and she forces opponents to make mistakes be it through a fierce tackle, or just implied pressure with their awareness of her athletic traits. A second chance from 35m out in the first term just fell short, and while the Bulldogs did not manage to kick a goal in the second half, Hunyh still remained involved, and is able to flick handballs off with lightning hands, and just keep the ball in front of her. Round 1 was a huge performance for Huynh, but from a defensive standpoint, this was still consistent and impressive across the game.

Sturt:

#3 Georgia Swan

The saying it might not be your day but it can be your moment might apply to Swan in this game. Only the three touches, but her moment came nine minutes into the fourth quarter. Sturt was behind and needing a goal with time running out. As the Bulldogs went to clear, Swan smothered it, the ball rolled into Sturt’s possessions, and ended the chain in a match-winning team goal. Without the smother, her side might not have won, so it paid for her to be switched on with the great defensive effort.

#19 Alex Ballard

Stationed in defence this week, Ballard took a number of intercept marks and had some big tasks such as Katelyn Rosenzweig early. She would use her body to advantage against smaller opponents, and her footy smarts to sidestep them and charge forward. In the third term she really stepped up with a number of marks, intercept possessions and goal-saving clearing kicks, with her composure under pressure a highlight in the game.

#20 Hannah Prenzler

Stepped up with a better performance than Round 1, particularly in the second half with the game on the line. After a quieter start, Prenzler was a wall at centre half-back, intercepting and driving the ball out of defence time and time again when the Bulldogs were advancing after half-time. Her power to drive through opponents and have the composure to hit targets was admirable. A potential match-saving intercept mark late in the game one-on-one was huge, and then shortly after contested the mark to knock the ball over the line and force a stoppage rather than an uncontested Bulldogs mark.

#30 Zoe Prowse

Returned to her predominant ruck role for this game after splitting time between ruck and midfield last week, having a big impact around the stoppages. She imposed herself on the contest, and was so fierce with her taps she falconed herself by punching it in the air then copping it on the top of her head, before making sure the next stoppage she comfortably cleared the pack. Clean below her knees and able to provide defensive pressure around the ground, Prowse had her fair share of the ball and was a standout once again for the Double Blues.

 

GLENELG vs. NORTH ADELAIDE

Glenelg:

#7 Brooke Tonon

Had plenty of the football this week after showing patches in Round 1. Whilst not having a ton of space to work with – which is usually her forte with her run and carry – Tonon still tried to break the lines where possible. She was clean at ground level and able to hit targets when on the move. A couple of times she dropped a mark, but was generally solid with her hands, just offering up an option on the outside as a runner and distributor.

#12 Tamsyn Morriss

Played an unheralded role in defence but held up against a pretty talented North Adelaide forward line. She won her fair share of the ball and took a number of intercept marks, trying to move the ball from end-to-end in transition. Morriss shared the kickout duties and was involved in the last passage of play where she put the ball in front of a teammate who could not quite gather, Morriss won it back but the second disposal did not quite go to plan when she went to mop up, the siren sounds. Her intercept marking saved her side on a number of occasions so overall was strong in the back 50.

North:

#31 Hannah Ewings

Defensively Ewings was as one had come to expect of the talented bottom-ager, just laying tackle after tackle, and applying immense pressure to the ball carrier. Offensively, Ewings could have really kicked a bag but had a few unlucky bounces, with a couple of chances heading towards goal but taking a left hook turn and going through for a behind. This also happened a couple of times on the wing where she put it out in front of teammates but the ball had other plans and went out of bounds. Her kicking was a delight once again, and she stepped up when they needed her. Went on to kick the sealer in the final term with a nice set shot that sailed home for a 14-point lead that would prove too much for the Bays.

#33 Julia Clark

The North Adelaide defender again was able to balance between defensive and offensive output, with some solid plays throughout the match. Her kicking when having time was perfectly weighted, particularly going inside 50, and she was able to win a free kick late in the second quarter with a technically terrific holding the ball decision by pinning the arms. A couple of times she turned the ball over, but she kept working hard throughout the contest.

#38 Kate Case

One of the better Roosters on the day, Case once again predominantly played in the back half, and was really impressive overhead. Not only was she winning the ball on the spread, but was beating her opponents one-on-one in the air and at ground level to be one of the top ball winners throughout the match. Her second efforts were also a highlight, where she would try and back up if she made a mistake and win the ball back for her team. She was clean at ground level, cleverly ducking out of a tackle and giving the ball off to a nearby teammate.

 

WEST ADELAIDE vs. WWT EAGLES

West:

#8 Keeley Kustermann

Not a huge game, but she just is able to win the ball and hit targets on a consistent basis. Her balance of athleticism, skills and decision making was a highlight. She took a couple of good marks, but her delivery on the move or from a stationary position was very good, and she just kept running throughout the game, offering herself as an option in transition.

#9 Zoe Venning

A big game from the talented top-ager, who racked up a game-high 25 touches and was impressive from the first bounce to final siren. Her defensive attributes have never been in question, with her work rate and successive efforts among the top traits she possesses. Venning kicked the opening goal of the game from a set shot thanks to a free kick and nailed it from 25m out with no issues. She had a couple of other chances throughout the game, but either passed them off or just missed. Her running and ability to get separation from her opponents on the outside matched her inside ball winning capabilities, making her have a nice balance of contested and uncontested possessions. Such quick hands and good footy smarts, Venning had a game to remember.

#30 Lauren Young

After a stunning debut last week, 15-year-old Young was back again and while the middle two quarters were a little quiet, Young still tallied plenty of touches, having a massive final term after a fast start. She used her raking boot to advantage coming off half-back and driving the ball to the wing or up forward. Her efficiency was not as high as in Round 1, but her impact due to the metres gained was still impressive. She took a number of strong marks and still had her fair share of clearances out of the middle to set up goal-scoring chances.

WWT:

#8 Charlotte Dolan

Not as many touches as Round 1, but Dolan had a hard-working effort throughout the game, putting her body on the line and trying to break the opposition zones with her running. Had very little time and space, but took a couple of great intercept marks, and even faced off against multiple opponents at different times, such as in the last quarter. Her strength overhead and on the ground was solid across the board and never stopped trying running the game out hard.

#25 Jamie Parish

A pair of strong hands at half-back, Parish had a couple of good plays by pulling down some strong marks, and then putting her body on the line at ground level. She was spreading from defence to get the ball forward, and while she did not win a heap of it, was always up for the fight defensively.

 

Picture credit: On The Ball Media

SANFL Women’s Round 2 wrap: Roosters and Bloods remain undefeated

NORTH Adelaide and West Adelaide are the only undefeated teams after the first two rounds of South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s action, while Norwood and Sturt grabbed wins to leave South Adelaide and Woodville-West Torrens Eagles as the winless sides in 2021.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 0.0 | 1.2 | 3.5 | 3.5 (23)
NORWOOD 1.1 | 5.2 | 6.2 | 7.2 (44)

GOALS:

South: J. Kirk, G. Schirmer, T. Page.
Norwood: E. Drake 2, J. Halfpenny 2, M. Breed, K. Fenton, L. Schwerdt.

BEST:

South: N. Campbell, M. McKinnon, G. Schirmer, E. Brockhurst, L. Clifton
Norwood: J. Macolino, S. Armitstead,  E. Gallagher, M. Breed, L. Cutting

Norwood has bounced back from its Round 1 loss to West Adelaide with an impressive 21-point victory over South Adelaide. The Panthers were missing key onballer Czenya Cavouras for the clash, and stuck with the Redlegs early, but a four goals to one second term blew the margin out, with both teams scoring two majors in the second half during the 7.2 (44) to 3.5 (23) result.

Booting six of the first seven goals – including two to both Elizabeth Drake and Jade Halfpenny and 1.2 to Mattea Breed – the Redlegs made the most of their chances to lead by a game-high 30 points early in the third quarter. Back-to-back goals to Jess Kirk and Gypsy Schirmer gave the Panthers some hope, but three consecutive behinds – to those goalkickers and Lauren Clifton – hurt the home side, as Kate Fenton‘s final quarter major was the only score of the quarter during the win.

Norwood had 14 more disposals, 10 more marks and 10 more inside 50s, with South narrowly winning the hitouts and clearances. Norwood’s key dominance was in the inside-50 count with 32 to 20 being the ultimate difference, though the visitors only finished with one more scoring shot – nine to eight – but were far more accurate.

In terms of individual performers, the ruck battle was fascinating with Montana McKinnon (19 disposals, six marks – three contested – 15 hitouts, six clearances, three inside 50s and three rebounds) stating her case for an Adelaide Crows recall up against Leah Cutting (12 disposals, three marks, five tackles, 16 hitouts, two clearances and two inside 50s). Jess Macolino was the top ball-winner for the winners, picking up 17 disposals and five clearances, while Emma Clark (15 disposals, two marks and three inside 50s) and Sophie Armitstead (13 disposals, six tackles and three rebounds) were also lively.

Up forward, Breed (13 disposals, three tackles and a goal), Drake (13 disposals, three marks and two goals) and Halfpenny (eight disposals, two marks and two goals) were all lively in the win. For South, Schirmer had another impressive night out with 15 touches, three tackles, two rebounds and a goal, while Nicole Campbell (18 disposals, four marks – one contested – six tackles, four clearances and five inside 50s) was also productive. Youngsters Sarah Wright (16 disposals, three rebounds), Tahlita Buethke (14 disposals, two marks and two tackles) and Clifton (12 disposals, three marks and three inside 50s) all stood up.

South Adelaide take on Central District in the first game of a double-header at Coopers Stadium next Friday night, before Norwood host Sturt in the second game.

 

CENTRAL DISTRICT 1.2 | 2.3 | 2.5 | 2.5 (17)
STURT 0.0 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 3.1 (19)

GOALS:

Central: K. Rosenzweig, L. Huynh.
Sturt: A. Brooks-Birve, C. Forby, A. Healy.

BEST:

Central: C. Teague, S. Smith, K. Rosenzweig, L. Huynh, D. Sonneman
Sturt: Z. Prowse, I. Kuiper, H. Prenzler, A. Gepp, T. Hough

Sturt has stepped up in the final term to run over the top of Central District in a low-scoring tussle to secure its first win of the season. After not scoring in the first term, and then trailing by as much as 10 points at the final break, Sturt booted the only two goals of the last quarter to win by two points, 3.1 (19) to 2.5 (17).

Central District fired up early, piling on 2.2 by the first minute of the second term, with Sturt yet to score. Despite a drought-breaking goal by Amy Brooks-Birve to reduce the deficit, three consecutive behinds over the second and third term saw the Dogs get out to a double-digit lead. Needing a response in the final term, ex-Eagle Chloe Forby got on the board in the opening 90 seconds with a goal, then midway through the term, Alysha Healy kicked what would be the winning goal, handing the Double Blues a two-pint win.

Central District finished with more disposals (171-163), clearances (22-20) and inside 50s (25-19), but unsurprisingly, Sturt dominated the hitouts (41-14) and rebounds (23-16) with Zoe Prowse and the Double Blues’ defence standing up under pressure. Prowse returned to her more permanent ruck role, racking up 32 hitouts to go with 13 disposals and three inside 50s, while Hannah Prenzler (13 disposals, five marks and five rebounds), Kiera Mueller (12 disposals, four tackles and three rebounds) and Alex Ballard (10 disposals, four marks and three rebounds) standing up well in the back 50.

Isobel Kuiper (17 disposals, five marks, eight tackles and three clearances) worked well with fellow youngsters Tiah Hough (11 disposals, three marks, six tackles and four clearances) and Alisha Gepp (16 disposals, four tackles and five clearances) on the inside. Caitlen Teague was a standout for the Bulldogs in the loss, picking up 13 disposals and laying 10 tackles, as well as four inside 50s and two clearances, while Shelby Smith (14 disposals, 11 tackles and five clearances) worked hard throughout. Up front, Katelyn Rosenzweig kicked 1.3 from 10 disposals, five marks (three contested) and three inside 50s, while Laitiah Huynh had 11 disposals, six tackles and a goal. In defence, Shannon Murphy was a rock with 12 disposals, four marks, four tackles and a game-high seven rebounds.

In Round 3, Sturt will take on Norwood at Coopers Stadium in the second game following Central District’s clash with South Adelaide in a Friday night double-header.

 

GLENELG 0.2 | 0.4 | 1.4 | 2.7 (19)
NORTH ADELAIDE 1.4 | 2.4 | 2.6 | 3.6 (24)

GOALS:

Glenelg: L. Armitage, J. Bates.
North: H. Ewings K. Barltrop, T. Gordon.

BEST:

Glenelg: B. Tonon, J. Bates, T. Morriss, P. Window, L. Armitage
North: E. Greet, K. Harvey J. Tabb, H. Ewings, K. Case

North Adelaide moved to 2-0 in the Roosters’ premiership defence season, defeating Glenelg in a battle of the Round 1 winners. The Roosters won by five points, 3.6 (24) to 2.7 (19), holding off a determined Bays outfit in the second half after kicking the only first half goals. The first major did not come until Tayla Gordon‘s goal in the final two minutes of the first term after six consecutive behinds between the teams. Kelly Barltrop kicked a second goal for the Roosters midway through the second term to give her side breathing space, before Jessica Bates hit back with an important one in the third quarter.

Following back-to-back behinds, Hannah Ewings kicked a vital goal early in the fourth term, and whilst Glenelg had four scoring shots in the last quarter, kicking 1.3, Lucy Armitage‘s major in the final few minutes cutting the final deficit to five points was not enough. Despite the loss, Glenelg topped the disposal count (227-212), and dominated the marks (54-36), but the Roosters pressure of 70 tackles to 44, and holding firm around the ground was crucial.

Erica Greet found plenty of the ball for the Roosters, racking up 19 touches to go with six marks – one contested – six tackles, two inside 50s and three rebounds, while Kate Case provided great run and strength in the air with 15 touches, five marks – two contested – and two tackles. The defensive pillars in Talia Radan (15 disposals, five rebounds) and Kristi Harvey (14 disposals, seven rebounds) stood up again, whilst Ewings (14 disposals, three marks, five tackles and a goal) and Jaimi Tabb (13 disposals, 12 tackles) were fierce.

A host of youngsters stepped up for the Tigers, with Brooke Tonon (20 disposals, six marks) leading the way, while Piper Window (17 disposals, four marks and four inside 50s), Tamsyn Morriss (16 disposals, six marks) and Madisyn Freeman (13 disposals, three inside 50s) also impressed. Bates had another good outing with 17 disposals, three marks, five tackles and three rebounds, while Armitage finished with 13 disposals, four tackles and a goal.

North Adelaide face off against fellow undefeated side West Adelaide at Hisense Stadium in the second of a double-header clash at the venue on Saturday, following Glenelg’s meeting with Woodville-West Torrens Eagles.

 

WEST ADELAIDE 1.4 | 5.4 | 5.8 | 7.9 (51)
WWT EAGLES 1.0 | 2.0 | 3.1 | 4.1 (25)

GOALS:

West: K, McCarthy 2, M Elsegood, C. Biddell, M. Newman, Z. Venning.
Eagles: S. Goody, A. Blanden, N. Collie, A. Gooley.

BEST:

West: Z. Venning, L. Young, C. Biddell, L. McCarthy, B. Owen
Eagles: R. Forth, S. Walker, A. Blanden, Z. Anthony, S. Goody

A four goals to one second term has seen West Adelaide set up a strong 26-point win over Woodville-West Torrens to remain undefeated and set up a top of the table clash with reigning premiers in Round 3. The Bloods were inaccurate in the first term, then slotted 4.0 to 1.0 in the second term to storm to a 22-point half-time lead. The Eagles cut the deficit and threatened to steal the game from the inaccurate Bloods at one stage before West straightened up to win, 7.9 (51) to 4.1 (25).

Zoe Venning had an outstanding game and was best afield, also kicking the opening goal of the game 97 seconds into the match. Despite fiercely attacking for the first quarter, the Bloods kicked four consecutive behinds, and then Eagles’ Astrid Gooley made them pay with a late major cutting the deficit to just four points. Four of the next five goals all went the way of the home team, with AFL Women’s talents Chelsea Biddell and Madison Newman, and Melanie Elsegood and Ashlea James all converting goals either side of Eagles’ Amie Blanden.

At half-time the Westies lead by 22 points, but four consecutive behinds to the Bloods throughout the third term, and then goals either side of the final break to Nicole Collie and Shineah Goody, brought the deficit back to 13 points with the visitors in with a chance. That chance was snuffed out late in the game with Louella McCarthy kicking back-to-back goals in the final five minutes of the match to seal the 26-point victory.

West Adelaide dominated possession (215-158) and still won the tackle count (60-56), whilst being ahead in the hitouts (29-14), clearances (24-20) and inside 50s (30-24). Venning’s best afield performance included 25 disposals, two marks, five tackles, four inside 50s, two rebounds and one goal, while Round 1 Breakthrough Player, Lauren Young picked up 18 disposals, three marks, six tackles, two hitouts and four clearances in the win. Sharnie Whiting (16 disposals, four marks and four rebounds) was rock solid again in defence, while Biddell (16 disposals, five marks – three contested – 11 hitouts, five inside 50s and a goal), Bec Owen (17 disposals, four tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s) and McCarthy (12 disposals, six tackles, six clearances and two goals) were also among the best.

Renee Forth was a standout in the loss for the Eagles, picking up a team-high 22 disposals, as well as seven marks, four tackles, three clearances, five rebounds and two inside 50s. Blanden had 14 disposals, eight hitouts, five inside 50s and a goal, while Stephanie Walker (12 disposals, five marks, four tackles, five clearances and two rebounds) and Goody (11 disposals, three tackles, two clearances, four rebounds and goal) were both prolific across the board.

West Adelaide hosts North Adelaide in the final game of the round on Saturday afternoon, the second game of a double-header at Hisense Stadium, while the Eagles take on Glenelg in the earlier game.

Picture: Cory Sutton / SANFL

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 2 preview: Hisense Triple Treat

A TRIPLE-header at Hisense Stadium will allow South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s fans to watch three games back-to-back on Saturday in a massive day of action following a blockbuster Friday night fixture this evening. For Round 1 losers, one of South Adelaide or Norwood will at least get points on the board in season 2021, while for Round 1 winners, Glenelg and North Adelaide, something will have to give when they clash in the second game tomorrow.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. NORWOOD
Friday, March 5 @ 7pm
Flinders University Stadium

Two of the SANFL Women’s most successful teams over the first four seasons go head-to-head after losing their opening round matches in South Adelaide and Norwood. Two-time back-to-back premiers and then reigning grand finalists, South Adelaide will lock horns with Norwood who took it up to West Adelaide last week, but much like the Panthers against the Roosters, were unable to get the job done against pretty stiff opposition. Now the teams head in with a few changes to try and grab their first points of the season.

The home team will have to overcome the loss of key midfielder, Czenya Cavouras who is unavailable for the match, joining Alannah Rochow as unavailabilities, and Brooke Kleinig as omissions from the Round 1 loss. Tough midfielder/forward Madison Bennett returns to the team, with the 21-year-old bringing plenty of experience to the side, whist at the other end of the scale, Amy Gore (four games) and Tess Huxtable (debut) are both in, as Gore has been named on an extended bench, and Huxtable thrown into a forward pocket. Tamara Page and Madison Ross have also been included. For Norwood, they have brought in versatile utility Mattea Breed who was an emergency in the first game, and Lana Schwerdt, who have replaced Lindsay Bigg and Kassandra Stroh in the side.

The ruck battle between Leah Cutting and Montana McKinnon will be a fascinating one, as two strong opponents not will to take a backwards step going head-to-head. Jaslynne Smith looks the heir apparent to the missing Cavouras in midfield, with the natural ball-winner and reliable defender joining Nicole Campbell and Renee Moon onball, while Norwood have thrown a splash of youth in there for the team sheet as forward Jade Halfpenny and fellow teenager Sarah Branford make their way into the midfield alongside the experienced Sophie Armitstead.

South Adelaide had enough chances against North last week, the Panthers could not quite make them stick going inside 50, while Norwood won all the key stats, but the West Adelaide defence was incredible with holding up and driving the ball back. If the Redlegs can get the ball in the hands of runners such as Alana Lishmund or Isabel Martin going forward, the inclusion of Breed gives them another athletic target, while the Panthers have Gypsy Schirmer as the X-factor in the front half, with the top-age talent joining the likes of Lauren Clifton and Tahlita Buethke as young guns will to move the ball quickly in transition and set up scoring opportunities.

Both these sides looked pretty good last week and it looks to be an even contest, though the loss of Cavouras will hurt the Panthers. Norwood might have the upper hand if their midfield can click, but it will be whether South can make more of its chances going forward.

 

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. STURT
Saturday, March 6 @ 10.40am
Hisense Stadium

In the first of a triple-header at Hisense Stadium, the ultra-impressive Central District go head-to-head with Sturt to open a Super Saturday of matches. The Double Blues do not mind getting their hands dirty and restricting the opposition from scoring with the defence their strongest area. It makes for a fascinating contrast with the Bulldogs running-and-gunning it to have a number of multiple goalkickers in Round 1 and build on their 2020 season where they showed signs that they were keen to take the game on. Coming off a wooden spoon last season, the Bulldogs not only look to have built on their game, but genuinely were as impressive as any other side in the opening week, and it will be interesting to see how they go second-up, while the Double Blues will make some adjustments after the loss to Glenelg.

Central District have not needed to force a change, heading into tomorrow’s clash with an extended bench. Former vice-captain and talented mover Gemma Doughty returns to the side with Amber James the other key in as the 21-year-old looks to make her mark in the side along with the other blossoming youth. Unfortunately for Sturt, Lane Trenorden is out due to a finger injury, while Nicole Baker is also out of the game, and the Double Blues have opted for an extended bench with the return of bottom-age talent Tiah Hough who is still only 16-years-old, as well as the potential debut of another 16-year-old in Georgia Hamilton. Alysha Healy also comes in to provide some experience in the front half, while over-ager Allani Dawes is the other inclusion for the visiting side.

Hough has been thrown in the deep end to join Alisha Gepp onball after the latter had a solid introduction to SANFL Women’s action with 11 touches and three clearances on debut last week. 18-year-old Gepp is the oldest of the three named onballers with top-age talent Zoe Prowse standing out in her new midfield-ruck split role and one that Central will need to watch in this game. Sturt have an abundance of youth that makes them a potential to really go far, with their opponents Central District also showing off their young talent. In the front half, the strong hands of Lauren Breguet and the perfect small forward game from Laitiah Huynh in Central’s win over Woodville-West Torrens were eye-catching, and Madison Lane has the potential to cross paths with fellow South Australian Academy member, Georgia Swan in the Bulldogs’ defence.

Central District’s hardened midfield with captain Shelby Smith leading the way, and Lauren Smith and Caitlen Teague joining her in there, will make life difficult for the younger Sturt onballers. Key forward targets in Kaitlyn Rosenzweig and Chantel Reynolds give the Bulldogs a bit of firepower in the front half along with the medium and small forwards, and perhaps the fact Rosenzweig went goalless in the opening round, and the Bulldogs still had a comfortable win, was the most pleasing considering in past years she has held up the attack. Sturt’s defence has the youth of Hannah Prenzler and Alex Ballard there to use their footskills to get out of trouble, as well as captain Maya Rigter‘s experience to settle the team down, meaning the Bulldogs will still need to use the ball well going forward. For Sturt, it is about getting their hands on it and keeping possession to spend more time inside 50 and create opportunities.

Central District looked so dangerous last week and the Bulldogs style could match up against a lot of teams, so Sturt’s defence will be tested again this week, though the addition of youth to the side will also make Sturt just as exciting going forward.

GLENELG vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, March 6 @ 12.25pm
Hisense Stadium

Two Round 1 winners go head-to-head when Glenelg takes on North Adelaide in the second game of the triple-header tomorrow. The Bays made a statement in the opening round with a strong victory over Sturt, while the Roosters unfurled the flag and claimed the points over South Adelaide to remind teams that even without their AFL Women’s talent of last year, they are still a force to be reckoned with in 2021. The match will be a great test for Glenelg to see where they are at when the go up against the benchmark of the Roosters, while North Adelaide will now test themselves against a side that showed it can pile on the goals when required.

Glenelg will head in with at least a couple of chances, as Molly Affolter returns for the Bays to give them a leg-up in the ruck after the team was smashed in the area last week against Sturt. Casie Coombe and Shae Partington also return to the side as part of an extended bench. For North Adelaide, they have kept it simple with the loss of Kate Ferguson to an ankle injury, and Flagstaff Hill’s Carli Morton gets her chance to debut in Round 2.

The North lineup has very few holes in it, with Kelly Barltrop returning successfully last week and being that forward target, while captain Kristi Harvey has the potential to play at either end, named at centre half-forward but could very easily be thrown back into defence. With the experience of Talia Radan, and the ever-improving Erin Sundstrom back there, the Roosters have some great intercepting ability. Jaimi Tabb and Kate Case are among the young guns going through the team, with Case enjoying the role through the defensive half of the ground last week, and rotating with the likes of another State Academy member in Julia Clark, while at the other end, Brianna Arthur and Cristie Castle have the potential to rotate through midfield or forward.

Glenelg’s inside midfield will need to find a way to contain young gun Hannah Ewings who dominated in Round 1 against the Panthers, but also cannot allow the experienced Leah Tynan or Lauren Daniel to get off the chain either. Ellie Kellock and Sam Franson were ever-reliable, with the latter hitting the scoreboard with multiple goals to go with plenty of touches in an impressive effort. Young talents Tessa Kohn and Brooke Tonon roll through the inside and outside midfield as well as in various spots around the ground for the Bays, while not enough has been said about the debut of 15-year-old Piper Window who racked up 13 touches, two inside 50s and laid four tackles in her first SANFL Women’s match. If the Bays can use the likes of Tonon, Tamsyn Morriss and Window to work the ball forward, they will give the front six the chance to match it with the Roosters on the scoreboard.

As good as Glenelg was last week, penetrating the North Adelaide defence is like entering the final boss battle on a game. If the Bays can do that and kick a winning score, then they will be considered a genuine premiership contender, but the Roosters are the team to beat, and the reigning premiers will be favourites in this game.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. WWT EAGLES
Saturday, March 6 @ 2.10pm
Hisense Stadium

The final match of the triple-header features the actual home team for the triple-header in West Adelaide, looking to go 2-0 against a Woodville-West Torrens side that was soundly beaten by Central District’s run in Round 1. The Bloods on the other hand were able to take care of Norwood in a tight encounter, and with an abundance of youth, look to be one of the title contenders in season 2021.

The Eagles have lost Audrey Holt to injury for the Round 2 game, while 15-year-old Marlie Fiegert has been recalled, along with the crucial inclusion of some experience in veteran, Renee Forth. Panagiota Pipinis also comes into the Eagles side, as the team heads in with some versatile options before running out on the ground. West Adelaide has lost a crucial player in Ailish Considine, one of the two outs with Samantha Ramm. Back into the side however is key forward Chelsea Biddell who comes back from Adelaide Crows duties, joining a host of players on an extended bench such as State Academy member Tamika May, 16-year-old Charlie Scutchings, 18-year-old Niamh Davis, and potential debutant, Madelyn Zacher who arrives from Adelaide University.

Make no mistake, West Adelaide is a huge chance to win the lot this season, and being able to include Biddell at this level is a massive boost to the side that unleashed Lauren Young into the SANFL Women’s world in Round 1. The fact Young is only 15 and did what she was able to do – lead the league in disposals, marks and rebounds – shows how promising her future is, and she is a name that will be talked about in the coming years. Jovanka Zecevic will lead a midfield looking to contain the likes of Young, and with the help of Stephanie Walker and Forth who could roll through their with their experience, the visitors hope to get on top through that area. Kiana Lee was impressive as that contested marking defender, but is more than suited to playing at full-forward, which is somewhere that fellow youngster Brooklyn Kraft has been named to test herself.

Charlotte Dolan continued to improve to kick-off the season last week with some line-breaking runs to team up with Anastasia Falkenberg and Natasha Holmes who can all find the football. Similarly, Jamie Parish is capable of taking a forward one-on-one and then running off them to provide good link-up work in transition, but she will have her hands full between the twin towers in Melanie Elsegood and Biddell down there. Up the other end, Sharnie Whiting slotted in seamlessly to the defence and will be that intercept option at centre half-back, while Keeley Kustermann and Zoe Venning at opposite flanks have the potential to role through the midfield with their counter contrasting abilities of clean and composed, and hard and uncompromising giving the Westies plenty to like about their side in 2021.

West Adelaide look like one of the top teams in the competition that could build on its preliminary final exit in 2020, and therefore will be favourites to take this game out, while the Eagles will be a better side with their inclusions, but will be tested against the strength of West Adelaide, so will have a good idea of where they stand with one of the potential title contenders after the match.

Picture credit: Cory Sutton/SANFL

2021 SANFL Women’s Team of the Week: Round 1

NORTH Adelaide and Central District lead all-comers in terms of nominations for the Draft Central South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s Team of the Week for Round 1. The competition kicked off in style over the weekend, with the Roosters and Bulldogs both picking up impressive wins, whilst fellow Round 1 winners, Glenelg and West Adelaide had three players apiece. Round 2 losers, South Adelaide and Norwood also had three apiece, while Sturt and Woodville-West Torrens were on the end of bigger losses but still had the two players.

North Adelaide’s premiership defence started off in style with a strong win over their grand final victims, South Adelaide on Friday night. The defence was on-point with Talia Radan and Kristi Harvey both named in the Team of the Week back six, alongside teammates, Hannah Ewings and Lauren Daniel. Ewings was the second best performed player of the round, and earned the vice-captain nod, quite the achievement for a 16-year-old.

Central District showed how much it had improved on last year’s wooden spooner effort, with also having four players in the team. Lauren Smith has been named in midfield, while the dynamic tall-small duo of Chantel Reynolds and Laitiah Huynh are deep forward after combining for five goals. Another youngster in Lauren Breguet has made her way onto the bench.

West Adelaide debutant Lauren Young might be only 15-years-old but showed age is no barrier to talent, with the teenager earning the captaincy nod following a clear best on ground performance against Norwood. In the Bloods’ win, Young played between midfield and defence, and led the league in disposals, rebounds and marks for Round 1. Other West Adelaide players in the side are Adelaide’s Ailish Considine off half-back, and Sharnie Whiting who also rounds out the back six with a distinct West flavour.

The final winning side in Glenelg had three players in the team, with forward/midfielder Sam Franson, key target Chelsea Packer, and midfielder Jess Bates all earning a nod in the opening round. In terms of the losers, Norwood had a trio of players this week are through the midfield, with ruck Leah Cutting and midfielders, Sophie Armitstead and Elisha Gallagher making the side. South Adelaide’s trio of Nicole Campbell, Renee Moon and Gypsy Schirmer made their way into the side despite the defeat, in what was an even team performance from the Panthers and many that could easily have been included.

From the heavier losses, Sturt’s Larissa Schenscher joined Zoe Prowse in the Team of the Week, while Woodville-West Torrens’ Natasha Holmes and Kiana Lee both earned places in the 24-player squad. In terms of the emergencies, South Adelaide’s Sophia Flanagan-Sjoberg, Glenelg’s Ellie Kellock and Sturt’s Isobel Kuiper were the nominated players.

DRAFT CENTRAL’S SANFL WOMEN’S TEAM OF THE WEEK: ROUND 1

B: Talia Radan (NA) – Kristi Harvey (NA) – Sharnie Whiting (WA)
HB: Ailish Considine (WA) – Lauren Young (WA) (c) – Larissa Schenscher (ST)
C: Nicole Campbell (SA) – Lauren Smith (CD) – Renee Moon (SA)
HF: Gypsy Schirmer (SA) – Chelsea Packer (GL) – Natasha Holmes (WWT)
F: Sam Franson (GL) – Chantel Reynolds (CD) – Laitiah Huynh (CD)
R: Leah Cutting (NW) – Sophie Armitstead (NW) – Hannah Ewings (NA) (vc)
INT: Jess Bates (GL) – Lauren Breguet (CD) – Lauren Daniel (NA) – Elisha Gallagher (NW) – Kiana Lee (WWT) – Zoe Prowse (ST)

EMG: Sophia Flanagan-Sjoberg (SA) – Ellie Kellock (GL) – Isobel Kuiper (ST)