Tag: hannah prenzler

2021 Academy Watch: SANFL Women’s Round 10

IN the penultimate round of action, there were injuries, standout performances and even tags dealt with for the South Australian State Women’s Academy members, as we look at those talented state representatives who ran out for their respective South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s sides in Round 10. All notes are the opinion of the individual writer.

NORWOOD vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT

Norwood:

#15 Alana Lishmund

Got better as the night went on after a slower start, applying good tackling pressure across half-back and pushing up the ground. She was not needed a great deal in the opening term with the ball up the other end and whilst she could have been cleaner at ground level, did draw some free kicks because of her attack at the contest. She had an impressive final term with some nice foot skills, and laid a great tackle on Katelyn Rosenzweig midway through the final term to force a shot on goal to be off target.

#22 Jade Halfpenny

Had a really strong defensive game, laying plenty of tackles and charging at the football. On a number of occasions she took some strong grabs, including a courageous clunk back with the flight mark midway through the third term. Her disposal was hit and miss at times with some rushed passes but then absolute pinpoint darts, and a hardball spin out of trouble to give it to Najwa Allen to set up a goal in the first term was fantastic. She also kicked one of her own from straight in front after good positioning in a marking contest to have a solid night out.

Central:

#28 Lauren Breguet

The pick of the State Academy players in this game, Breguet was really lively in the front half, leading out hard and pushing up the ground. Her decision making was good, able to hit those short, sharp kicks to open up angels going inside 50, and nailed a set shot goal three minutes into the third term. She drew a number of free kicks for going in hard, and had another shot with the banana in the third term, but that went out on the full. Breguet showed good footy smarts throughout the contest to keep the ball in play and her eye on the prize to be one of the better Central players on the night.

#40 Madison Lane

Had a really fast start with the Central defence under siege picking up most of her touches early. She used her booming kick to clear the area and rebound from danger then lay some fierce tackles and putting on defensive pressure through the middle quarters. In the end she did not win as much of it as he has tended to, but never gave in, though she was injured in a contest six minutes into the final term and had to be stretchered off.

#41 Laitiah Huynh

Might not have hit the scoreboard, but used her lightning hands and ability to create separation from her opponents well. Once she had ball-in-hand, her ability to flick it off to teammates at speed was really impressive. Naturally her pressure was still high, and she contested well in the air and at ground level. Once she adapted to the conditions, she was able to play like it was a dry ball. Huynh was unlucky not to win a free kick for in the back late in the final term, with the talented small forward certainly up and about in the pressure moments.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS vs. GLENELG

WWT Eagles:

#8 Charlotte Dolan

Might not have won a heap of the ball, but her intent was consistent throughout the four quarters. Dolan copped plenty of knocks and kept bouncing up, taking a strong mark late in the second term to kick deep in attack and then provide an option a minute later for another inside 50. She pushed hard throughout the game to provide pressure at half-back and even spent some time on-ball late in the game.

#25 Jamie Parish

Had a tough job with the defence seeing plenty of action in this one, but Parish provided some good repeat efforts and defensive pressure. She could not always cleanly grab the ball, but when she won it in close she was quick to dispose of it, and tried to create some attacking movement despite the mounting scoreboard discrepancy.

Glenelg:

#7 Brooke Tonon

The clear standout of the State Academy members, Tonon played at the level she has built this season, coming off half-back and pushing up to the wing. She laid some fierce tackles and worked hard around the ground, quick to get boot to ball. She just kept plugging away and was one of a number of defenders who kept the Eagles from kicking a goal in the contest, providing good run and spread from defence out in transition.

#12 Tamsyn Morriss

Had a solid performance with some nice moments as you have come to expect. Morriss did not win a ton of the ball, but it was seldom in her region, attacking it hard when she needed to and winning a good one-on-one early in the match, then laid a tackle at the next stoppage to force a turnover. She was run-down trying to move the ball through the middle in the third term, but kept providing an option for her teammates, working hard both ways.

STURT vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE

Sturt:

#3 Georgia Swan

Worked really hard throughout the game and used the ball well when having the opportunity. Her statistics of six touches and no tackles do not reflect the intensity at which she played, with her one-percenters and ability to be an option in transition quite noticeable. She showed good footy smarts to get to the right positions and provided a second tackling option at the contest, often winning the hard ball and being wrapped up as well.

#19 Alex Ballard

A huge first term and arguably the pick of the State Academy players in this game, Ballard worked really hard on the lead up and down the ground to take some strong grabs. Her body positioning in one-on-one contests was also eye-catching, and she slotted a goal from 30m out on a slight angle from the set shot. Ballard seemed to be everywhere early on, and whilst she was a little quieter after that as South Adelaide ran rampant, she still lead out to take a mark and use the ball with a lovely inboard kick in the third term, then tried a snap off the outside of the boot from 15m out under pressure, which bounced through for a behind.

#20 Hannah Prenzler

Worked hard in the back half to counter a number of South Adelaide attacks and pushed up to the wing when required to keep the defensive line high. Her kicking was a little rushed compared to her usual precision, but her intercept work and mopping up was still reliable. She stood up when being tackled and spread well to provide an option and switch when required, finding plenty of the ball.

#30 Zoe Prowse

Unfortunately the exciting utility’s day ended early after a ruck stoppage in the first term, copping a knock and not being sighted again, after showing good intent early in the match with a big tackle at half-forward, though gave away a free kick for her troubles.

South:

#1 Tahlita Buethke

After a quieter start to the game, Buethke came alive after quarter time and started buzzing around the stoppages. At times she could not quite take it cleanly or would be knocked off it trying to run at speed, but her ability to create separation and then give-and-go was noticeable. She was quick with her hands or feet, and even took some good marks in space, looking to be an option in transition or intercepting a kick behind play. She used her speed to advantage and had several passages where she won a chain of possessions, and while it was not her best game, it was certainly a solid effort.

#36 Gypsy Schirmer

Had a mixed day where the talented AFL Women’s Academy member produced some nice moments, but ultimately it was more her defensive work, rather than her offensive stuff, that stood out. She was still clean with the ball off the deck, but did make some errors by hand or foot and was penalised on a couple of occasions. When it came to her intent and defensive pressure it was hard to fault Schirmer, who racked up a ton of tackles and really applied fierce pressure to the opposition. Her best play from an offensive standpoint came in the first term where she hit a lovely kick out in front of Jordann Hickey leading out.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. WEST ADELAIDE

North:

#33 Julia Clark

It was not a good weekend for State Academy members and injuries, with Clark another one to go down in Round 10. She started promisingly with her attack on the ball earning her two free kicks in the opening term, but then a tackle from Abbie Ballard three minutes into the second quarter unfortunately resulted in her hitting the turf pretty hard and having to be helped off. The positive was the stretcher was not required and she was able to walk off with the trainers.

#43 Amelie Borg

Played a more defensive role on her opponents trying to limit their impact, and she certainly did that. Only having the six touches, Borg was more prominent for her work in adapting to multiple opponents, from key forwards to smaller types rolling through the back 50. She played quite deep and was able to just lockdown on an opponent to allow the likes of Kristi Harvey and Amber Ward to play more attacking roles out of the back 50.

West:

#3 Abbie Ballard

Building nicely in her return from a long-term injury, Ballard is hitting her straps at the right time of year. Given the strength of the West Adelaide midfield, Ballard is able to play as that pure forward with rotations through the middle, and use her left foot to advantage when searching for targets inside 50. She is clean in-close, and great off the deck, able to use the ball well in transition. She almost kicked a goal in the second term but it bounced the wrong way and through for a behind. She provided her regular amount of tackling pressure throughout the contest.

#7 Scarlett Griffiths

For the second week in a row, Griffiths had the one disposal you want to have if that is all you are going to get – kicking a goal. After her set shot last week, Griffiths kicked a clever goal on the run, dribbling it home from 30m to seal the deal for the Bloods 11 minutes into the term. She only had the one touch, but had a few almost-moments with a dropped mark one-on-one against Kristi Harvey, and then a handball that was deemed a throw.

#9 Zoe Venning

An underrated game from the fierce midfielder/forward, who exclusively was able to play at half-forward and use her high work rate to roam up and down the ground. Venning won the ball in each of the thirds and spread really well to contribute to the team’s cause. She took some good marks leading out at half-forward in the first half, then pushing back into defence in the second, she showed clean hands out of the stoppage and was able to find her fair share of the ball on the day. She had some impactful disposals and made some mistakes by foot, but overall had a pretty impressive game.

#30 Lauren Young

You know you are travelling pretty well when the opposition sends a tagger to you at half-time to try and quell your influence, and the 15-year-old had no issues whatsoever dealing with it. Not only showing talent, but maturity to just get on with it, Young still was lively in the second half despite having at least one player sticking to her, and often multiple players around her in marking contests. She won free kicks for being held, and finished with two goals – could have been three if the free kick she won was not taken advantage – but she kicked a set sot goal from 20m out straight in front in the second term for the first goal of the match, then the last goal thanks to a sidestep, spin and shot on the run which sailed home in the final few minutes of the match. Had another outstanding performance, and the fact she had to deal with tagging and still stepped up was impressive.

SANFL Women’s Round 10 wrap: Top two decided as two finals spots up for grabs

NORWOOD and Glenelg have confirmed their spots as the top two sides in the South Australian Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition following wins on the weekend. It left two spots up for grabs, with third placed South Adelaide saluting to have one foot in the post-season series, whilst West Adelaide temporarily dislodged North Adelaide in fourth spot thanks to a victory over the Roosters.

STURT 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 | 2.1 (13)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 2.3 | 5.6 | 7.6 | 9.6 (60)

GOALS:

Sturt: A. Ballard, C. Forby.
South: J. Hickey 3, J. Hooper 2, N. Campbell 2, S. Flanagan-Sjoberg, J. Kirk.

DC BEST:

Sturt: K. Mueller, J. Good, J. Wittervan, K. Harris, H. Prenzler
South: T. Charlton, T. Buethke, M. McKinnon, J. Hickey, C. Hammond

South Adelaide has moved into third spot on the SANFL Women’s ladder with a commanding 47-point win over Sturt to all but secure yet another finals series for the two-time premier and reigning runner-up. The Panthers piled on seven of the first eight goals – including three to Jordann Hickey and two to Jorja Hooper – to lead by as much as 42 points at the final break. Chloe Forby kicked the first of the final term, but a couple of late ones in favour of the visitors secured the win, 9.6 (60) to 2.1 (13).

Cheyenne Hammond (16 disposals, five marks, four tackles and three rebound 50s) and Jaslynne Smith (15 disposals, six marks, four tackles, three clearances and two rebound 50s) were both lively out of the back half, while Teah Charlton (15 disposals, six marks, three tackles, two clearances and two rebound 50s) and Nicole Campbell (14 disposals, three marks, seven tackles, three inside 50s and two goals) got it done in opposites halves of the ground roaming through the midfield. Tahlita Buethke (13 disposals, four tackles, five clearances and three inside 50s) was again influential, whilst Montana McKinnon (nine disposals, 31 hitouts, four clearances and four inside 50s) stood tall.

Kiera Mueller led the Double Blues out of defence with 20 disposals, three marks, two tackles and four rebound 50s, whilst Hannah Prenzler (16 disposals, four marks, two clearances and two rebound 50s) was also solid back there. Jess Good (18 disposals, four marks, 23 hitouts and five clearances) was influential around the ground having a great battle with McKinnon, while Jaimee Wittervan (19 disposals, six clearances and three inside 50s) and Kate Harris (16 disposals, two tackles and four clearances) were prolific at the stoppages.

South Adelaide take on West Adelaide next week, with the winner to play finals, and the loser to wait on other results. For Sturt, the Double Blues are a part of those other results, with the chance to stop reigning premiers North Adelaide from entering the top four when they host them at Unley Oval.

NORTH ADELAIDE 0.1 | 0.4 | 1.6 | 2.7 (19)
WEST ADELAIDE 0.1 | 2.3 | 4.3 | 6.3 (39)

GOALS:

North: E. Greet, K. Pope.
West: L. Young, C. Biddell, A. Considine, S. Griffiths, B. Owen.

DC BEST:

North: K. Pope, L. Gauci, A. Ward, M. Ney, P. Waterford
West: L. Young, S. Whiting, C. Biddell, Z. Venning, S. Dargan

West Adelaide has kept its finals hopes alive by knocking off reigning premiers North Adelaide and securing fourth spot heading into the final round. Both sides took a while to get going with the ridiculously strong defences standing tall and not allowing much through. It took until young gun Lauren Young split the big sticks in the second term to break the drought, with the Bloods booting the first four goals of the game to lead by 23 points midway through the third term. North Adelaide kicked the next two of the match – and could have had more with the likes of Ash Woodland (three behinds) and Tayla Thorn (two) both having chances, but late majors to State Academy members Young and Scarlett Griffiths sealed the 20-point win.

Young was outstanding once again, collecting 20 disposals, taking seven marks – three contested – laying six tackles, and having two clearances, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s, as well as slotting her two goals. In defence, Sharni Whiting was back to her best, racking up a match-high 22 disposals, as well as seven marks – two contested – and six rebound 50s. The AFLW experience of Ailish Considine (15 disposals, two marks and a goal), Sarah Dargan (15 disposals, two marks, 11 tackles and two clearances) and Chelsea Biddell (14 disposals, five marks – two contested – three tackles, eight hitouts, four inside 50s and a goal) counted for plenty, while Zoe Venning was fierce around the ground picking up 15 disposals, five marks, three inside 50s and three rebound 50s.

For North, Katelyn Pope kicked a goal and had a team-high 19 disposals, as well as two marks, three tackles and two clearances, while Lauren Gauci (15 disposals, four marks, two tackles, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and Amber Ward (14 disposals, three marks and three rebound 50s) were superb bringing back their AFLW experience. Woodland had chances with her three behinds, but still put together a solid performance of 13 disposals, two marks, four tackles and two inside 50s while Poppy Waterford (12 disposals, two marks, two clearances, four inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and debutant Monika Ney (10 disposals, five tackles and five clearances) also impressed.

The final round is huge for both these teams, with West Adelaide needing a win to secure a finals spot when they take on the Panthers, while if they lose, they will need Sturt to knock off North Adelaide, otherwise North will take fourth position back and knock the Bloods out of the finals.

NORWOOD 4.0 | 4.0 | 5.1 | 6.2 (38)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 0.1 | 2.3 | 4.4 | 5.5 (35)

GOALS:

Norwood: E. Drake 2, R. Zerella 2, N. Allen, J. Halfpenny.
Central: A. Butler, K. Rosenzweig, C. Scheer, L. Breguet, C. Wendland.

DC BEST:

Norwood: L. Cutting, N. Allen, A. Ferrall, S. Armitstead, J. Halfpenny
Central: S. Smith. C. Scheer, K. Rosenzweig, L. Breguet, K. Searle

A fast start has helped Norwood secure the minor premiership and sit pretty heading into the final round to prepare for Glenelg in the first week of finals. The Redlegs piled on four goals in the opening term to race out to a 23-point lead at quarter time. Central District showed the amount of development over the past 12 months by fighting back to boot four of the next five goals over the two quarters to head into the final break just three points down. Norwood kicked a steadier early in the quarter, before Katelyn Rosenzweig almost stole the win for the Bulldogs with a couple of chances on goal to boot 1.1, with her second shot in the remaining 10 seconds missing for the Redlegs to win 6.2 (38) to 5.5 (35).

Leah Cutting was enormous around the ground, dominating in the ruck with 17 disposals, six marks – two contested – 10 tackles, 38 hitouts, four clearances, three inside 50s and four rebound 50s in a clear best afield effort. Najwa Allen (18 disposals, two marks, two clearances and 1.2) also impressed in the midfield, while Sophie Armitstead (10 disposals, five tackles, five clearances, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s) aided her cause. Youngsters Jade Halfpenny (11 disposals, four marks, three tackles, three inside 50s and a goal) and Alana Lishmund (13 disposals, seven tackles) found their fair share of the ball, as did Alison Ferrall (12 disposals, two marks, three tackles and six rebound 50s) in defence.

Captain Shelby Smith led from the front for the Bulldogs, picking up 14 touches, laying nine tackles and having two clearances and two inside 50s. Rosenzweig (13 disposals, four marks – two contested – four tackles, two hitouts, two clearances and two inside 50s) and Chloe Scheer (13 disposals, three marks – one contested – four tackles, two clearances, four inside 50s and one goal) both hit the scoreboard. State Academy players Lauren Breguet (10 disposals, three marks – one contested – four tackles, two inside 50s and a goal) and Laitiah Huynh (nine disposals, three tackles) had solid performances, while Karissa Searle (eight disposals, four inside 50s and Caitlen Teague (seven disposals, three marks three tackles and two inside 50s) also tried hard throughout the contest.

Norwood takes on Woodville-West Torrens Eagles in the final round in a battle of top-against-bottom, with the result effectively negligible for the Redlegs who have secured top spot. They will still want to head into the post-season series with a win, whilst for the Eagles, a victory could keep them from the wooden spoon. Central District has done enough to ensure they cannot win the wooden spoon in 2021, but are not completely out of the race for finals. They need West Adelaide to lose to South Adelaide, and Sturt to upset North Adelaide in order to grab fourth spot.

WWT EAGLES 0.1 | 0.2 | 0.2 | 0.4 (4)
GLENELG 2.2 | 3.3 | 7.5 | 11.6 (72)

GOALS:

Eagles: Nil.
Glenelg: M. Freeman 3, M. Girvan 2, E. Kellock 2, C. Swanson, C. Gould, S. Franson, C. Packer.

DC BEST:

Eagles: A. Falkenberg, S. Goody, K. Lee, N. Collie, R. Forth
Glenelg: E. Marinoff, M. Girvan, T. Kohn, C. Gould, B. Tonon

In the most one-sided game of the season, Glenelg has stormed to an easy 68-point belting of last placed Woodville-West Torrens Eagles to secure second spot on the SANFL Women’s ladder heading into the finals. The Bays booted eight goals in the second half after only leading by 21 points at the main break, restricting the home side to just two behinds in each quarter. Glenelg had 58 more disposals, 30 more hitouts, 28 more clearances and 25 more inside 50s in an old fashioned shellacking.

A player by the name of Ebony Marinoff did alright upon her return to state level from the AFLW, racking up a casual 30 touches, three marks, five tackles, 10 clearances and five inside 50s, having more clearances than the entire opposition team (10-9). She had plenty of support around her though, with Tessa Kohn (16 disposals, four tackles, six clearances and three inside 50s) and Ellie Kellock (12 disposals, two marks, two tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and two goals) both influential at the stoppages, and Meara Girvan (15 disposals, five marks – two contested – 23 hitouts, three clearances and two goals) and Caitlin Gould (13 disposals, five marks – one contested – four tackles, 22 hitouts, two clearances, two inside 50s and a goal) taking control through the ruck. Brooke Tonon (14 disposals, two marks, five tackles, two clearances and four rebound 50s was again impressive off half-back, while Jessica Bates (13 disposals, three marks, 10 tackles and two inside 50s) was consistent yet again.

Anastasia Falkenberg was a clear standout of the Eagles in the heavy loss, collecting a team-high 18 disposals, five marks and 10 tackles, while Shineah Goody continued her strong debut season with 17 touches, four marks, three tackles and two rebound 50s. Kiana Lee (14 disposals, two marks, three tackles and three rebound 50s), Nicole Collie (12 disposals, three marks and five rebound 50s) and Renee Forth (16 disposals, four marks – two contested – and three tackles) also tried hard against stiff opposition.

Woodville-West Torrens Eagles finish their season up against minor premiers Norwood who come in winning eight of the past nine games, and the Eagles’ hope that the chance of missing the wooden spoon will spur them onto victory against a Redlegs side that already has locked up top spot. For the Bays, second place is secure, but they can knock Central District out of the finals race of they get up in the Saturday afternoon clash at ACH Group Stadium.

Picture credit: John Emery / SANFL

2021 Academy Watch: SANFL Women’s Round 9

THE finals of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition are not far away, and there was plenty to like about the up-and-coming talent in the state over Round 9 of the competition. We cast our eye over the players across the four games, with each note the individual opinion of the writer.

NORWOOD vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE

By: Peter Williams

Norwood:

#15 Alana Lishmund

Had arguably her best game of the year against South Adelaide, finding her fair share of the ball and providing some fierce defensive pressure around the ground. The majority of her touches were found in the back half of the ground as she worked hard behind the ball to spread, and try and create some movement going forward. While sometimes her decision making was inconsistent, she would back up with some repeat efforts at stoppages and remain focused with her intent. She took a good contested mark inside forward 50 in the second half between two defenders and set up a goal assists with a quick, clean, well-timed handball, having finished off the game in the front half of the ground.

#22 Jade Halfpenny

Another really solid four-quarter performance playing primarily up forward and pushing up the ground. She had an early chance in the first term with a nice sidestep but it just missed, though she laid a great tackle shortly after to force a turnover inside 50 and lead to a score. She took a number of good marks in the second term both in front of the ball on the lead, and intercepting on the wing, as well as providing plenty of defensive pressure to force the opposition to rush handballs in close. In the final term, Halfpenny showed great closing speed to force a spill and get the handball to a teammate, but they could not get boot to ball, tried to do it herself but was tackled. Aside from a couple of passes, the majority of Halfpenny’s deliveries by hand or foot were generally on target.

#30 Sarah Branford

Despite only having a handful of touches, Branford still showed plenty of defensive pressure on the ball carrier, winning a free kick in the first term for going in hard then kicked inside 50, whilst quickly kicking it from a stoppage at the top of 50 to go deep. Late in the first term, Branford produced a strong smother to keep the ball at half-forward, and whilst she did not win a heap of it after that, still remained active in the game. Unfortunately overran an attempt to spoil which led to her opponent taking off and nailing a pass inside 50 which led to a goal, but her intent was right, reading the play well.

South:

#1 Tahlita Buethke

The speedster played through the midfield, rotating between onball and the wing, starting right at the first stoppages. She might not have won much of it to start with, but then started to collect the touches later in the first term, with a number of handballs and a kick going inside 50. She positioned herself well at the stoppages to get herself in ball-winning positions. Her third quarter featured a number of touches around the ground, including coming off a wing to scoop a ball up, then intercepting a quick kick out of the opposition’s defensive 50 to send the ball back inside 20m from goal. Laying a number of good tackles throughout the game, she won a free kick for her efforts, and had an eye-catching charge out of the middle going forward.

#5 Sarah Wright

Not a huge game, but still had a few nice moments. She was clean off the deck and applied some great defensive pressure and put her body on the line when required. Her best piece of play came in the second term when she intercepted out of defence and put it deep on the wing to a running teammate, which a few minutes later was followed by a good mark at half-back and delivery to the defensive side of the wing.

#36 Gypsy Schirmer

The AFL Women’s Academy member played out of defence again to try and create some run from the back half, and she certainly did that from time to time. Her first half was more productive than her second, first getting involved with a mark at half-back, taking the player on and giving it off by hand to move it quickly. Her hands at ground level were really good, and she pushed up the ground when required, also laying a couple of strong tackles on fellow State Academy members. Not as prolific as she has been in the front half of the ground, Schirmer certainly showcased her versatility behind the ball.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS vs. STURT

By: Liam Badkin

Eagles:

#8 Charlotte Dolan

Spent time forward of the ball as opposed to onball, and used her talents to affect the game in other ways. Had only five kicks, but rarely wasted them and her pressure in the forward half proved crucial in the Eagles attacking plays, highlighted by her three tackles. A quiet day statistically but still had her moments.

#25 Jamie Parish

Spending more time in defence than previous weeks with Amie Blanden shouldering the ruck duties, Parish was the key rebounding weapon in the Eagles’ arsenal. Finished with a game-high five rebound 50’s as she generated run out of a backline that was constantly under the pump. Not all of the kicks hit the target, but she did not have much to kick to up the field. Finishing with 10 disposals with all of them being kicks, Parish did not waste time over-handballing, and got the ball on her boot straight away, a move that got the backline out of a tight spot on multiple occasions. Already known as a player who can play in all three lines, her defensive stocks just went through the roof after solid play in this match.

Sturt:

#3 Georgia Swan

A typically solid game from Swan, who finished with seven disposals but influenced the play greatly whenever she was near it. Missed a shot on goal in the third quarter that would have added to her day, but continued to find herself around the play and was damaging when she got her hands on the ball.

#19 Alex Ballard

Had a day out as she slotted three nice goals to prove key in her side’s strong victory. Her hands were as strong as ever as she brought down six marks, on a day where defenders simply had no answer for her. Kicked two goals in the second quarter when Sturt really started to take over the game, and proved reliable at finishing the hard work of her teammates with straight kicking. Easily her best game of the year and will be looking to take her form into next week.

#20 Hannah Prenzler

Continued last week’s form of moving further up the ground to impact the play, and reaped the rewards as she kicked her first goal of the year in the final quarter where she floated forward and found space. The Academy prospect has been adaptable this season, and will be pleased with her game as she continues to adjust to the new role.

#30 Zoe Prowse

Another fantastic performance from the talented utility who continues to adapt to wherever the team needs her. Sharing ruck duties with Jess Good, Prowse was excellent whenever she was required to take hit outs, finishing with 14 for the day as a back-up. She also displayed her excellent ability to find the ball and use it with class. She ended the day with 14 disposals and a whopping seven inside 50’s. Her five tackles demonstrated her willingness to do the dirty work in the contest and finished the day as one of her side’s best.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. GLENELG

By: Liam Badkin

North:

#38 Kate Case

A quiet day statistically, finishing with just the one touch, but had more of an influence on the play than that. Constantly harassing Glenelg players whenever she was around the ball, her effort is more accurately represented by those who watch her do the little things.

#33 Julia Clark

Despite having less of the ball than last week, her effort remained the same as she used her eye catching aerobic capabilities to push hard up and down the wing to provide an option for her teammates. Her six disposals were hard earned and she often deserves more of the ball than she gets, but continues to fulfil her role for her side.

#43 Amelie Borg

Once again popping up in the backline, Borg worked tirelessly all day to make sure her opponent found no easy path to the ball, as she nullified the impact of whoever she was opposed to. She consistently pressured the ball carrier and harassed opponents all day. Finding the ball six times herself was just the cherry on top. A nice game.

Glenelg:

#7 Brooke Tonon

Found plenty of the ball along the wing, finishing with 11 disposals in yet another game where her hard running nature was fully on display. She worked tirelessly along the wing as she left opponents in her dust on multiple occasions. North Adelaide’s players struggled to keep up with Tonon’s remarkable work rate, which has consistently delivered for her and her teammates so far this season.

#12 Tamsyn Morriss

The defender once again did the majority of her work deep in the backline as she thwarted plenty of North Adelaide attacks with her ability to read the play and put herself in clever positions. Her work when the ball was on the deck in Glenelg’s defensive 50 was great, as she worked her way to five disposals and a pair of crucial rebound 50’s to clear the backline.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT

By: Peter Williams

West:

#3 Abbie Ballard

Her second game back from a long-term injury, Ballard played at half-forward and did what you would expect of her – apply fierce defensive pressure and use her potent left foot to advantage – throughout the game. She won a free kick early and kept attacking it hard at the contest, producing a perfectly waited kick in the second term after leading out and marking at the top of 50. She won the ball as far back as half-back midway through the term and whilst she had a quieter second half, had shown enough to be productive in the match.

#7 Scarlett Griffiths

If you are going to have a one-kick game, then Griffiths certainly made the most of it, with her sole kick in the second term coming via a free kick in the forward pocket after running onto the ground. She converted the set shot from 25m out and handed her side a vital six points.

#9 Zoe Venning

Won her fair share of the ball and cracked in hard as you would come to expect, predominantly playing off a half-forward flank. Whilst she did not hit the scoreboard, she worked hard up the ground, took a good mark early in the game, and won a couple of free kicks for her intent. She did get pinged for holding the ball early in the third term, but her ability to stand up in tackles and apply defensive pressure was terrific.

#30 Lauren Young

Once again got to the right positions and found plenty of it whether it was in defence, midfield or attack, predominantly rolling through the midfield. She showcased her thumping kick to clear the danger zone on a number of occasions, and took some strong intercept marks, as well as ones on long leads. She showed great courage in the third term by taking a huge grab going back with the flight and copping contact from behind, and then was able to get forward and have a couple of chances inside 50. Her set shots in the second and third term respectively just drifted or were rushed across the line, but she set up a great chance to Melanie Elsegood on the lead with a nice deep kick.

Central:

#28 Lauren Breguet

Spending time in the middle as well as up forward, Breguet provided some great running out of midfield early in the match to kick inside 50, then got on the end of one late in the first term with a set shot from 20m out and a perfectly weighted kick for a goal from a tight angle. She had a quiet second term before stepping it up in the third, with plenty of involvements around the footy, including some fierce tackling in midfield, and a good handball under pressure at ground level earning er a free kick. She used the ball well by foot from the free kick, and earned another free kick for a high tackle at half-forward.

#40 Madison Lane

Had a particularly lively middle two quarters, but still remained involved throughout, Lane took some good intercept marks and drove the ball out of defence. Often trying to settle the team down, her kicks were generally high-impact with the exception of one turnover at the top of defensive 50 in the second term. She had a clean pickup off the deck midway through the third term, and whilst her kick was smothered, she won it back at half-back and kicked safely to the wing.

#41 Laitiah Huynh

Had some lively moments in the game with a some quiet patches, but some eye-catching efforts. She had a massive effort in the second term bursting out of the middle to run forward and kick to Katelyn Rosenzweig’s advantage for a goal 15 seconds into the second term. Midway through the quarter she intercepted a would-be handball with a clever tap mid-air to keep the ball tracking forward. In the fourth term, she took a good mark on the wing, played on and kicked to half-forward well to showcase her aggressive ball movement, then tried to have a shot on goal by sidestepping an opponent six minutes into the quarter but was unluckily dragged down.

Picture credit: Peter Swan / SANFL

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 9 preview: Panthers load up for clash with red-hot Redlegs

TWO late morning games and two evening games mark a huge Round 9 of action in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS vs. STURT
Saturday, May 1 @ 11:30am
Maughan Thiem Kia Oval

Opening the round is unfairly a bottom two clash, with both Woodville-West Torrens and Sturt both playing pretty well this season. The Eagles’ percentage is quite low as the lowest scoring team, though they are just a win outside the eight. A victory here and results going the right way, and the Eagles would be fifth, but the same could be said for the Double Blues, who a fortnight ago showed they could score, and have been their reliable selves defensively to boast the best percentage in the bottom four, but are a point behind the two teams above them. From a State Academy perspective, Charlotte Dolan has proven to be able to play in multiple positions, having started at half-back, spent time on the wing, even gone inside and then played forward at the AFLW Under 19 Championships. Having been named on a forward flank again, the Eagles will be looking for her fierce intent to be a factor, particularly against Double Blues’ captain Maya Rigter. The other State Academy member to watch is Jamie Parish, with the versatile tall named on a wing for the second week in a row, but is more than capable of slotting in up forward or in defence. For future years, Shineah Goody is shaping as a classy prospect with plenty of versatility and an ability to create something out of nothing. For the Double Blues, the forward line is swarming with State Academy members, as Zoe Prowse has been named at full-forward with defenders-cum-forwards Hannah Prenzler and Alex Ballard either side of her, and Georgia Swan on a flank. It means a very exciting front 50 for the Double Blues, and the game could genuinely go either way.

NORWOOD vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, May 1 @ 11:30am
Coopers Stadium

Norwood has been dealt a blow ahead of its massive clash with South Adelaide, losing 50-gamer Leah Cutting to injury, whilst in-form Ella Murison is also out of the side. The Panthers have lost Lauren Clifton and Lucy Northcott among five changes, but have stacked their side with Jordann Hickey and Indy Tahau returning from Queensland, Teah Charlton and Hannah Munyard from AFL Women’s seasons completing, and Jess Kirk back in the side. Norwood has proven to accept any challenge thrown at the Redlegs, but without Cutting, Montana McKinnon and Soriah Moon will have the run of the mill around the ground. Jade Halfpenny is enjoying a terrific season for the Redlegs, playing through the midfield and rotating forward, while Sarah Branford had one of her best games of the season last week. Lana Schwerdt has been impressing as another young talent coming through, whilst Jess Macolino, Sophie Armitstead and Morgan Johnston have been consistently amongst the best. Even outside the changes, the Panthers have a lineup that is ready to shoot up the ladder, as AFL Women’s Academy talent Gypsy Schirmer has been named at half-back, and Tahlita Buethke in the middle coming off her best game last round. Nicole Campbell and Cheyenne Hammond are completing a star-studded midfield, whilst future key forward talent Jorja Hooper is in great form as well. The Panthers have bulked up and would be favourites to break the Redlegs seven-game winning streak, but if Norwood can beat this Panthers outfit without Cutting, then they are the clear premiership favourites.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. GLENELG
Saturday, May 1 @ 4:10pm
Prospect Oval

North Adelaide and Glenelg are both starting to filter their AFL Womens’ talent back, with Amber Ward and Ash Woodland (North) and Caitlin Gould (Glenelg) all returning. The teams have opted not to unleash midfield guns Anne Hatchard (North) and Ebony Marinoff (Glenelg) just yet, though up-and-comer Piper Window has returned for the Bays with Lucy Armitage a key out for the visitors at Prospect Park. North Adelaide got back on the winners list last week to sit third, tantalisingly just behind the second placed Bays. With Ward back to provide support for Kristi Harvey, the Roosters defence is starting to look impenetrable again. Last year’s leading goalkicker Woodland will only be better for the AFLW experience, as Katelyn Pope has already been back in the side. Young guns Kate Case, Julia Clark and bottom-ager Amelie Borg have all been named in the side, with interest around where Borg will play based on the return of Ward to the key defensive post. Kelly Barltrop, Kathryn Reynolds and Tayla Thorn are a damaging trio up front, with Brianna Arthur also in form rolling through the midfield. For the Bays, Brooke Tonon has put together a fantastic season in multiple positions, but came off half-back last week, with Tessa Kohn, Ellie Kellock and Jessica Bates all having racked up the ball and taken control of the midfield. It will be a tough ask against a strong Roosters outfit, though with Gould named at full-forward, the Bays midfield will have a tall target to kick to. Tamsyn Morriss is the other State Academy member who has been named on the bench, but expect her to rotate through the defence in what should be a cracking contest.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Saturday, May 1 @ 5:10pm
Hisense Stadium

The final game of the round pits two exciting young teams up against each other, with the fourth placed Central District taking on the sixth placed West Adelaide at Hisense Stadium, Both teams have State Academy members returning, with Scarlett Griffiths at West Adelaide, and Laitiah Huynh at Centrals coming back into their respective lineups. Louella McCarthy (West) and Alicia Butler (Central) are another couple of key inclusions for the respective sides, with AFLW talent and youngsters across the park. From a young gun perspective, West Adelaide’s Lauren Young will continue her outstanding debut season, teaming up with AFL Women’s talents Sarah Dargan and Ailish Considine in the midfield. Chelsea Biddell and Melanie Elsegood are named as the key forwards, with State Academy members, Zoe Venning and Abbie Ballard inside 50. Venning will have the freedom to roll through the midfield but also be a leading target up forward, whilst Ballard is in her second game back from long-term injury. For the Bulldogs, Huynh slots straight back into half-forward, joining forces with fellow State Academy member Lauren Breguet inside 50, while up the other end, Madison Lane has been named off a half-back flank. Nicole Mark has had an impact since crossing from South Adelaide, and the key forward pairing of Katelyn Rosenzweig and Chantel Reynolds has proven to be effective, while Caitlen Teague, Shelby Smith and Lauren Smith have worked well with in-form ruck Isabelle Starmer. Chloe Scheer returning to the side last week proved a masterstroke, with the AFL Women’s talent starring in a best on ground performance. This has all the hallmarks of being a cracking contest.

Picture credit: On The Ball Media

2021 Academy Watch: SANFL Women’s Round 8

RETURNING to the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition, there were plenty of young guns back in action with South Australia’s AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships campaign done and dusted. We cast our eye over the players across the four games, with each note the individual opinion of the writer.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. WWT EAGLES

By: Liam Badkin

North Adelaide

#33 Julia Clark

Spent plenty of time around the wing where she used her blistering pace to work into ball winning positions. Finishing with 13 disposals, Clark was constantly around the play, whether it was pushing hard to be the next option for her team or putting pressure on the opposition as they tried to extract the ball from defence. Was solid in her side’s win and will look to add to this performance moving forward.

#38 Kate Case

Was stationed around half back for a lot of the day and was really attacking with her play. On multiple occasions she played on from a mark and created some run out of defence for her side, immediately putting Eagles defenders up the ground on the back foot. Did not get a heap of the ball with only five disposals but made each of them count with her damaging play.

#43 Amelie Borg

Played deep in defence for plenty of the day, where she blanketed any opponent she was standing next to. This did not stop her from finding a bit of the ball herself, ending the match with 13 disposals in easily her best performance of the year, as she continues to add strengths to her game.

Eagles:

#8 Charlotte Dolan

Found herself in the midfield for the majority of the contest, where her positioning stood out exceptionally well. Played a defensive type role as she acted as her team’s sweeper around the stoppages. She thwarted plenty North Adelaide clearances by stationing herself in crucial positions. Only had the seven touches, but her role was more than statistics, as she played an integral role in the Eagles’ engine room all day.

#25 Jamie Parish

The talented utility spent time in various positions of the match, but mostly settling in the ruck and defence as the match progressed. Had an opportunity to snag a goal from a free kick in the first quarter, but the kick was wayward. Competed all day to make her way to 13 touches and two clearances, and once again demonstrated her ability to play in all three lines.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. NORWOOD

By: Declan Reeve

West Adelaide:

#3 Abbie Ballard (West Adelaide)

Returning from a long-term injury, Ballard was given the opportunity to ease back into with an extended stint sitting as a deep forward for West Adelaide, but once she blew the cobwebs out she worked into the game really well, getting more involved in the midfield and looking really dangerous as she hunted the ball, this hunt was vital in her goal in the 4th term, where she ran in, timing it perfectly so that she didn’t have to break speed, to win the ground ball in front of an opponent and kick it straight through. What is apparent with Ballard is how hard she works, and how much she hates being beaten, following the ball up with aggression if she got dispossessed or dropped a mark. With that continual hunt for the footy, there’s no doubt that Ballard will continue to improve over the coming weeks

#9 Zoe Venning (West Adelaide)

Spending most of the game in the thick of things through the middle, Venning’s consistent attack on the ball and ball carrier was a big part of West staying in the contest, constantly applying pressure in the contest, where when she won the ball she’d break out and kick long forward. She perhaps looked more impressive as a forward however, with her ability to get separation on her opponent with her leading being a highlight, as well as her positioning in aerial contests and follow up work when she didn’t win it cleanly.

#30 Lauren Young (West Adelaide)

Fresh off of winning the SA U19 Championships MVP, Young returned to club football with a strong performance in the West Adelaide engine room. Whilst the 15-year-old has had more prolific games in her short SANFLW career stats wise, the more unheralded aspects of her game, such as her one percenters, her positioning and at times her courage were on full display throughout the contest. Things like the few times she’d run into a pack of players and win the ball, drawing in a free or getting it out, or when she’d position herself well in a marking contest to run onto a loose ball out the back. That positioning translated well to stoppages as well, especially around the ground where she’d come in later to avoid having an opponent go with her, and she could get to the ball first without much pressure.  Offered plenty around the ground, with those one percenters being a clear sign of workrate to assist winning the ball and helping teammates around the ground, but also working hard to be an option inboard or further down the line.

Norwood:

#22 Jade Halfpenny (Norwood)

Splitting her time between being a key target in the forward line and a midfielder, Halfpenny enjoyed a good return from the recent U19 championships. Her follow up work around the forward half in particular was impressive, where even if she did not hold a mark she would generally win the contest at ground level to get the ball forward, delivering some nice kicks inside 50. She also consistently looked to get her teammates involved rather than blazing away or taking an unrealistic crossbody snap at goal, showing a team oriented style that was a big part of the Norwood win. She acted as a dangerous inside midfielder when given the run through the guts, winning a few clearances, standing up in attempted tackles to get the ball free. 

#30 Sarah Branford (Norwood)

Splitting her time between half forward and wing, Branford, despite being a shorter player, showed plenty of courage and fight to compete with opponents in the contest and in the air. She looked at her best when she was given space around the ground, no matter how little space she was given, she took advantage of it with her agility and speed allowing her to break away with the ball and kick it long. There was one particular play in transition during the third quarter, where she ran onto a loose ball, out running her opponent, and then delivering inside 50 from the centre circle, highlighting her strengths nicely.

GLENELG vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE

By: Liam Badkin

Glenelg

#7 Brooke Tonon

Spent the match across half-back instead of her usual wing station, and the move paid dividends. Her ability to find space and create some run was evident in previous matches on the wing, and she applied her craft perfectly here. She applied constant pressure to the South Adelaide forwards, smothering kicks and wrapping up her opponents for all four quarters. She ended the game with 20 disposals, six tackles and four rebound 50’s to be one of her side’s best in the three-point win.

#12 Tamsyn Morriss

The defender had another strong outing against South Adelaide, in a performance that would have impressed her coaches. Playing deep in the backline, the 169cm defender was exceptional at reading the play and pushing off her opponent when needed. She helped out at defensive stoppages, and drove the ball forward on numerous occasions. Was crucial when South Adelaide drove forward at key stages of the match, and while she may not have had as many touches as previous games (eight), she let her defensive work do the talking.

South Adelaide

#1 Tahlita Buethke

Pretty much what we expected from the talented midfielder, notching up a team high 23 disposals. Working in the engine room, she extracted six clearances and ran hard to work towards one on one contests to provide an outnumber for her team. Putting in her best game of the year, she was instrumental all over the ground in starting strong passages with her midfield work. Continues to improve as the year rolls on.

#36 Gypsy Schirmer

A typically tough performance from the half forward, as she made life extremely difficult for Glenelg defenders. Laid a game-high 10 tackles to apply her usual frantic pressure as she worked up and down the ground. Playing more on the wing at times, Schirmer pushed up the ground to help her defenders push the ball forward, and will be pleased with how she performed on the day.

#41 Lauren Clifton

Started the game on the bench before moving around the backline. Worked her way into the game and rebounded the ball outside defensive 50 on multiple occasion. Showed composure with the ball and ended the match with a respectable nine disposal performance.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. STURT

By: Peter Williams

Central:

#28 Lauren Breguet

Did not win a huge amount of the ball playing forward but had some nice moments. She worked hard midway through the first term with a quick kick inside 50 helping set up the opening goal for the Bulldogs. After a quieter second term, Breguet was early on the lead to take a strong mark in the opening minutes of the third term, and then hit up a teammate. Though her teammate dropped the mark, Breguet rushed over to help to apply a bump. She also showed clean hands off a marking contest on the wing, and a nice sidestep to handball to Madison Lane, then late in the game locked the ball up in the dying minutes at half-forward.

#40 Madison Lane

Similar to Breguet, did not have a massive day, but tried to create some run out of defence. Her first couple of kicks did not quite go as planned with one turned over and another smothered, but she worked into the game and showed good composure in defence to hit up teammates on the switch. She had another quick kick from the defensive side of the centre to go forward in the final term, pushing up the ground to try and create some run. Her defensive pressure laying some strong tackles was impressive as well.

Sturt:

#19 Alex Ballard

Playing forward and pushing up the ground, Ballard had a few chances to hit the scoreboard, with a chip to a teammate six minutes into the third term disguised as a set shot. Unfortunately for the Double Blues, the Central District defence was awake to it and chopped it off. Ballard had another chance to try and soccer the ball off the ground 12 minutes into the quarter but gave away a free kick in the process. She kept her defensive intensity high lunging across to try and smother on the wing, but then later on could not quite hold a mark going back with the flight. A late play from Chloe Scheer saw the AFLW-listed Crows talent sell some candy to Ballard and kick long to set up the winning goal.

#20 Hannah Prenzler

Playing forward, Prenzler applied some good pressure and won some free kicks, setting up a goal 16 minutes into the first term off her free kick. She showed clean hands off the deck, and continued to harass opponents, whilst trying to find space for herself. She had a couple of kicks early in the third term, including a lace-out pass to Alex Ballard, then had a snap towards goal as she was being tackle which just bounced into the post, her second behind of the day. Overall she provided some good pressure inside 50 even if she did not manage to put one through the big sticks.

#30 Zoe Prowse

Relieving Jess Good in the ruck rather than standing as the number one ruck, Prowse still managed to find a way to have an influence on the contest. She showed quick hands at ground level, won a number of free kicks and provided great pressure around the stoppages. She roamed around with more freedom than when she purely plays ruck, and whilst she still attended a number of ruck stoppages – and nearly always won them – she was able to be a target around the ground and work deep when required. In the third term she took the ball out of the ruck from a forward stoppage but her kick was smothered. She had a number of long kicks down the line to help clear the danger when behind the ball.

Picture credit: On The Ball Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Picture credit: SANFL / Cory Sutton

Top Performers: 2021 AFLW U19s Championships – Thursday, April 15

THE AFL Women’s Under 19s Championships concluded for three sides yesterday, as Western Australia, South Australia and the Allies all completed their final matches, while Vic Metro will head to Queensland on May 29 in its final match of the carnival. We cast our eyes over the two games in challenging conditions at Trevor Barker Oval and noted down some of the top performers. The notes are the opinion of the individual writer.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA vs. VIC METRO

WESTERN AUSTRALIA:

By: Declan Reeve

#2 Amy Franklin

Chopped and changed from defence, to forward line, to defence, and back to forward line, Franklin didn’t let the inconsistency in position effect her game, continuing to be an imposing figure up either end, with her athleticism a big weapon. Her speed when caught behind to make up ground and spoil the mark was really impressive in the backline, this did not happen too often however as her positioning was really good, making it herd for Metro to get marks inside 50. Up forward she had a lot of attention on her, but was unmatchable, even for smaller opponents, when the ball hit the ground, outrunning anyone that challenged her, even scoring an impressive goal off the ground on the run in the final quarter.

#4 Lauren Wakfer

After an impressive performance against the Allies in the ruck, Wakfer assumed the number one ruck mantle for the clash against Metro, coming up against a much taller Tahlia Gillard, Wakfer set the tone early winning the first hitout to put the ball in front of her teammates. This continued early on in the game, with Wakfer able to get front position when initiating contact and put the ball close to her feet, where she let teammates win it and put a shepherd in to protect them. Also looked good up forward, taking some nice marks on the lead and then putting it in front of teammates to create scoring shots. 

#7 Ella Roberts

Just dominant throughout the game, playing in the forward line and spending a little bit of time in the midfield, you’d be forgiven for thinking there was one of her in every section of the ground. Her work rate up and down the ground was insane, getting herself involved in play in her defensive 50, winning the ball and sending it out long to a free teammate, without fail, to get WA moving forward, or being that link-up option herself pushing up onto the wing and connecting well with her defenders to mark high up the ground. That work rate extends to her defensive efforts inside 50, with a highlight in the first quarter being her tackling a metro o opponent, having the ball spill out to another Metro player, where she then smothered that player’s kick with a dive. After missing out on a goal against the Allies, she got herself on the scoreboard twice, being the only multiple goal kicker, with her first coming from a contested mark and about 40 meters out in the second quarter, and her second being a similar setup in the last to put WA within a goal with just 3 minutes to go. Very deservedly got the WA MVP for the championships, an accolade that she will have the opportunity to retain at the championships next year. 

#8 Ashleigh Reidy

Ferocious pressure and tackling in the forward half of the ground, where her athleticism, particularly her speed and agility, helped her close down on opponents with intensity, following up with smart ball use to teammates. 

#11 Aisha Wright

Another electric forward half player for WA, Wright has all the makings to be a special player at the next level, with her speed and agility being two exciting aspects of her game to watch. Her work rate when the ball is there to be won is immense, often seen pushing up the ground, and winning a loose ball to then deliver inside 50, putting it in front of teammates to run onto.

#18 Dana East

Moved well through traffic in the midfield, finding ways to get on to the end of the ruck taps and then deliver the ball forward with well weighted kicks, or out to runners, with her quick and clean hands in close and under pressure really impressive, especially in the dying stages of the game where it was on the line, she was also a strong tackling presence in close through the midfield, stopping a few promising Metro clearance attempts. Set herself up well on the outside of the forward 50 and took some opportune marks to send it back in quickly.

#20 Emily Bennett

Found herself lining up more in the backline than midfield and was a really strong presence for WA, with her push from the backline on loose balls being really strong, where she would win it and deliver it well to a teammate, usually on the inside. She bobbed up at vital moments, with one particular time being a chest mark on the goal line to stop a certain Metro goal.

#25 Chloe Reilly

Reilly cracked in hard all day, even though she was thrown around positionally, she was not allowing that to impact her performance across the four quarters. Won a lot of the inside ball and followed up with long kicks forward, to the advantage of her forwards or to spots that WA players were at, showing her understanding for the WA structure. 

#27 Makaela Tuhakaraina

Utilised that blistering pace in the forward half to create a lot of opportunities and exciting moments, with one of those being a goal, and WA’s first, where she ran onto a long kick over the top of a pack, turned on the jets, took a bounce and put it through. Something that was really impressive to see in her game was how good she was at holding the ball up to draw in opponents, waiting until the right time to handball off to a teammate that had less pressure because of her work drawing those opponents in.

 #28 Courtney Rowley

Genuinely feels like there is nothing she does not do well, coming head-to-head with two of the best inside ball winners in the Champs, despite being newer to the inside role Rowley did not back down, taking it right up to her opponents to win a lot of ball and then handball to more outside teammates on the run. When she got on the outside herself, her usual speed was on show, happy to take on opponents and then deliver a well weighted kick forward, or a handball to a teammate further up the ground. Worked hard defensively as well, often going into the backline and applying pressure or winning the ball and getting it out.

VIC METRO:

By: Michael Alvaro

#3 Charlotte Ryan

Stationed almost exclusively on the wing, Ryan played one of her best games to date. The Sandringham Dragons product was busy all day, particularly in the early stages where she found a heap of ball and tried to drive Metro forward. She hit a couple of targets going inside attacking 50 by foot and won key ground balls on the outer, keeping her side in the contest. Overall, a really solid display to build on.

#4 Emelia Yassir

The diminutive ball winner played a strong role in Metro’s midfield rotation and enjoyed plenty of minutes around the action. Among a familiar centre bounce combination with a couple of Calder Cannons teammates, Yassir found a good amount of ball at the coalface and used it craftily by hand. One of the more pleasing aspects of her play was her work rate and repeat tackle efforts, which helped set the tone as the classy Metro movers went to work going forward.

#5 Amanda Ling

Another of the small ball winners in Metro’s engine room, Ling’s outstanding work rate and ability to get to repeat contests came to the fore on Thursday. She even managed to get on the scoreboard with a goal in the second term, finishing nicely from about 15 metres out to thwart Western Australia’s momentum. She was one to do all the tough stuff and dig in at ground level, showing clean hands and quick reflexes to flick out handballs to her runners. Add six tackles to the mix, and it was a relatively complete game from the midfielder.

#9 Maeve Chaplin

Once again reverting back to her defensive duties, Chaplin was a cool head in the back half and showcased her best traits. She displayed great composure on the ball, a neat point of difference in the fast-paced contest, especially in tough areas to work out of. She was not afraid to baulk an opponent to find more space before delivering neat kicks, with her efficiency quite high on the day. Chaplin’s positioning was also sound, as she read the play well to intercept, and also marked an Ella Roberts snap in the goalsquare, relieving pressure on the last line.

#12 Georgie Prespakis

Unsurprisingly Metro’s leading ball winner once again, it is remarkable the consistency Prespakis has been able to produce at such a high level. As a permanent midfield figure, the pick one contender was a class above at the contest, able to dig in to win her own ball despite heavy opposition attention at ground level. With clean hands, she would extract, slide out of tackles and flick out cleanly instead of blazing away long by foot, which was a nice adjustment for some previous form. She lifted a touch in the third term to help Metro break away, but was just as important throughout the contest. A couple of goals could have been the cherry on top of her figures on the day, but Prespakis was just unable to find the big sticks with two behinds.

#13 Eliza James

A key figure in Metro’s forwardline, the usual midfielder showed nice signs of adjustment to her relatively new representative role. She used her strength in one-on-one situations to compete both aerially and at ground level, while also presenting well as a viable target. She was particularly lively to start, but could not quite convert a couple of set shots inside 50, while a snap fell short. She would have a couple more shots but failed to register major scores in the second and third terms, and began to look more lively again in the fourth. Having finished with four behinds from about a half-dozen attempts, it was a day of ‘almosts’ for James, but her work to create such opportunities was notable.

#15 Stella Reid

Having won the ball at a terrific rate all year, Reid did so again and was impactful going forward from her familiar wing position. One of the many terrific Oakleigh Chargers prospects this year, she worked up and down the ground to accumulate and get her side going on the front foot. Reid again gained good meterage with her run and finished with classy use on her favoured left side, often proving a chain in Metro’s movement down the line.

#16 Brooke Vickers

The half-back/winger better known as ‘Chook’, Vickers rotated between the two roles and contributed some handy touches throughout the day. Starting in defence, she was able to provide her usual run on the rebound got into dangerous positions up to the front half of the ground. In her rotation onto the wing, Vickers continued to build a wall behind Metro’s forward 50 and was noticeable when the ball was loose in space, where she would often be first to it to mop up cleanly.

#18 Charlie Rowbottom

Metro’s skipper led from the front with an ominous display from midfield, constantly bustling her way forward with unstoppable straight-line strength. The Oakleigh Chargers product notched four clearances and eight inside 50s, indicative of her style of play. She was able to put her side on the front foot with irresistible burst from congestion, pushing aside would-be tacklers and often disposing of the ball with opponents still hanging off her. Rowbottom’s overhead marking was also on display, impacting around the ground with a couple of trademark contested clunks.

#24 Sofia Hurley

Coming into the Under 19 lineup after a dazzling 17s display, Hurley was able to bring some of her key strengths to the fore. She rotated through a supremely talented midfield and held her own, winning the ball at a good rate and constantly using her turn of speed to break away from congestion. Her ability to work into space within a flash was handy for Metro on the attack, and she made a couple of dangerous runs towards the forward 50, but could not quite find the end product.

#27 Montana Ham

One of the prime prospects in next year’s draft crop, Ham was not afforded the midfield minutes she enjoyed last time out, but still looked lively up forward. The Western Jets standout used her strong frame to rip the ball free inside 50 and have a say both in the air and at ground level – despite only clunking one mark. She ended the day with three behinds, but handed off to Georgia Campbell for a goal assist in term three and looked hard to beat in contested situations.

#28 Georgia Campbell

Having come to prominence this year as Eastern’s primary ruck, Campbell has adjusted well to playing more permanently up forward for Vic Metro. She started inside attacking 50 and again showed her willingness to compete at ground level, before rotating into the ruck in term two. She would pop up again in the third term with a nice goal on the fly, and really rose with her aerial work in the last quarter. Her clean hands were terrific in those marking situations, complimenting her athleticism well.

ALLIES vs. SOUTH AUSTRALIA

ALLIES:

By: Declan Reeve

#4 Cynthia Hamilton

Followed up her game against WA with another superb performance in the engine room, earning herself the Allies MVP medal for the Championships. Her grunt and pure aggression at the football was vital for the Allies, winning the contested ball and bombing it long for the Allies forwards to quickly take advantage of. Her defensive work, especially tackling, was phenomenal throughout the contest, with that previously mentioned aggression and relentlessness earning her plenty of free kicks for catching opponents holding the ball, one of which getting her a goal in the first quarter.

#7 Jess Doyle

The Sydney Swans Academy captain and AFLW Academy member showed good marking prowess throughout the contest, finding a way in front of her opponent often to take it cleanly on the chest or out in front. Although Doyle did not end up getting herself on the goal scorers list for the game, she did plenty to attempt to set up her teammates, selflessly looking to involve them in the game in any way she could. When in open play with ball in hand, she oozes class, with an incredible ability to get around opponents or stand up in tackles to deliver a handball to an outside runner, when she herself gets free, her left foot will more often than not find a teammate on the lead.

#11 Perri King

Another AFLW Academy member in the Allies team for the game, King started like a bull out the gates, with tackling pressure and intensity a theme of her game from the get go, amassing a massive 15 tackles for the game. There is no questioning her defensive workrate even from the midfield. It was not just defensive pressure however, she won herself plenty of the ball, generally following up with a long kick to the Allies advantage in the tight contest.

#15 J’Noemi Anderson

Whilst not racking up a whole heap of the ball, Anderson had some really good passages of play where she influenced the contest heavily. Her marking was good when the ball was in her area, taking a particularly good grab in the 4th quarter where she pushed past an opponent to take it on her chest and have a shot at goal. It was also impressive to see her desire to spread by disposing of the ball laterally or look for inside 45 options.

#16 Ella Maurer

Had a really good showing from more midfield minutes than she had gotten against WA, positioning well around stoppages to find herself winning the ball or getting a handball receive from a teammate pretty often, where she’d run her distance without taking any major risks and deliver the ball inside 50, setting up a couple of scoring opportunities that unfortunately went unrewarded.

#20 Ella Heads

Was involved in a lot of play in the defensive half of the game, but really came up big in the final quarter when the game was on the line and SA were surging forward, able to take one particular commanding mark over an SA forward, slow down the play and then hit short option to continue chewing up the clock. Earlier in the game, her attack on the ball and ability to create contests even when outnumbered was impressive, and played a big part in the mid-game deadlock.

#25 Isadora McLeay

Playing as the Allies deepest defender, there were plenty of times where she impacted contests or the ball within the goal square that kept the Allies in front for the game, able to position well in marking contests and intercept deep inside defensive 50, then use the ball cleanly coming out so SA didn’t have repeated opportunities.

 #30 Ally Morphett

Came up against fellow AFLW academy member Zoe Prowse in the ruck and probably broke even through the course of the game, with both having little periods of dominance in the ruck, it was an exciting battle to watch unfold, with Morphett being especially good when she could initiate contact in the ruck to knock her opponent out of the contest and demand first position. There were a few times where she just ran straight through the contest to punch the ball long and then try to run onto it out of the centre, making her look very dangerous.

 SOUTH AUSTRALIA:

By: Peter Williams

#1 Laitiah Huynh

Completing an impressive championships, Huynh came off half-forward, and after a quiet first term – mainly due to the ball being locked up the other end – she hit the ground running in the second term and was one of the better players in the final three quarters. She laid a great tackle early in the second term, and then showed off her cleanliness at ground level to pick it off the deck and dance through her opponents. She took a strong mark at speed in the third term, then had a one-touch play again at ground level on the wing, easily darting onto her right side before an opponent could get a hand on her. In the end, Huynh had a match-high five inside 50s, as well as the second most tackles on the ground (eight).

#4 Madison Lane

The standout small defender on the ground, Lane overcame a one-on-one loss in a marking contest to Cynthia Hamilton – who kicked a goal – to put in a steadfast effort and mop up time and time again in the back half. Symbolic of her team, after that first quarter, she was able to compose herself and not only find the ball, but get it out of danger moving it well down the ground. She recorded a match-high eight rebound 50s, which was three more than any other player on the ground. She attacked the ball well at ground level, tracked it and kept pushing hard to drive it down the field and hold up the Allies, restricting them to just six behinds after quarter time.

#6 Gypsy Schirmer

Really prominent early and showed clean hands in wet conditions, dropping back to help the defence as well. The AFL Women’s Academy member had a better game than against Vic Country on Monday, and was just that smooth-moving option on the outside. She used short chips or quick handballs to keep it moving, and whilst at times the pressure and conditions forced her into handballing, she was able to have a fairly consistent performance throughout the match and be one of the most prominent ball-winners on the ground.

#8 Charlotte Dolan

Back into the midfield after a stint up forward in her previous games, Dolan had an impact with her fierce tackling and contested ball-winning ability. Teaming up well with Zoe Venning on the inside, Dolan was able to win a number of clearances, particularly late, which were influential in crunch moments. It was her clean pickup and quick kick in the path of Lauren Young to kick a goal for South Australia to put them within six points late in the game. She did not mind having a scrap throughout the game with a couple of opponents, and certainly played her best game of the championships back in her more familiar midfield position, cracking in hard and having a go.

#10 Zoe Prowse

Was everywhere in the first half, particularly first term as she made her mark around the ground trying to wear down opposition fellow AFL Women’s Academy member, Ally Morphett. While Morphett got up over Prowse due to the 12cm height difference at throw-ups, Prowse was clever to avoid too many one-on-ones with the stronger Morphett, and instead use her high endurance base to cover the ground and work her opponent over. The Sturt ruck got worked over by the opposition with some fierce tackles, and even dropped behind the ball later in the game, but clearly took the chocolates in the ruck battle and was one of the more prominent ball-winners on the ground as well.

#11 Zoe Venning

Conditions that suited her and her inside game, Venning played the way you would expect with her hands good in close, and plenty of contested possessions and tackles, She kept attacking the ball hard and was one of the clear four-quarter performers for South Australia, doing well on the inside and then working hard on the outside. In the fourth term, she won a 50m penalty for being slung to the ground and kicked a crucial set shot goal from the goalsquare with six minutes left to give her side a glimmer of hope late.

#15 Alana Lishmund

Played her best game of the championships after building each game, taking a strong mark at half-back and providing the run from the defensive half of the ground and along the outside. She spread across the ground and formed an option to use in transition and was able to win a number of touches through that, as well as being one of the more prominent tacklers on the ground.

#19 Alex Ballard

Played up forward this game, and had an ‘almost game’ though was still very impressive. She kicked the one goal right before the quarter time siren with a kick across her body, then had a couple of chances over the next two quarters, with a quick kick rushed, and another from a set shot that just drifted to the left. She was strong in the air and at ground level, taking some great marks and laying some fierce tackles, definitely improving on her game a few days earlier up the other end, and showing off her versatility and strength in this outing.

#20 Hannah Prenzler

The co-captain was a reliable source from half-back with her composure and strong decision making impressive. She did not need to win a lot of the ball to have an impact, and she was able to settle the team down in defence, and keep the opposition from scoring, whilst providing some run in transition going forward. One of the side’s top rebounding forces on the day, and a crucial cog in the back six.

#30 Lauren Young

There comes a point where you run out of superlatives to describe a performance, and Young had done that by the third quarter, let alone almost dragging her team across the line in the final term. To finish with 37 disposals at this level is unheard of, but to do it as a 15-year-old who had to get special permission, is absolutely remarkable. Best on ground by a long way despite being on the field with so many quality players, Young took an array of strong intercept marks, was crucial in not only rebounding the ball out of the back 50, but getting it forward in transition and being a leading option. Her coverage of the ground is elite, and her hands overhead and clearance ability unbelievable. She looked like the one to stand up when required, and did so with a crunch goal in the final term with five minutes remaining, and almost took another grab with about three or four opponents spoiling her. Impressively, it was not just her offensive output that shone, but her defensive aspects as well, and it was hard to fault that kind of performance in any way, shape or form.

2021 SANFL Women’s Team of the Week: Round 6

STURT has come away with a league-high four players in the Draft Central South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s Team of the Week for Round 6, in what was an even spread across the competition. Six of the eight sides followed suit with three players apiece, whilst South Adelaide had the two players in for the week.

The Double Blues had a dominant midfield in the draw with Glenelg, and the likes of Kate Harris and Jaimee Wittervan both feature in the Team of the Week. Ruck Jess Good was named vice-captain in the team for her season competition-high 46 hitouts, whilst Hannah Prenzler returned from captaining her state to have a great game in defence. The captain of the side was on the opposition team, with the Bays’ Ellie Kellock named in the centre, while Lucy Armitage and Jessica Bates also made the side. Madisyn Freeman came close to making it in, named as an emergency for Round 6, alongside another Sturt talent in Isobel Kuiper.

West Adelaide had the next most players across the 27 players named, with three players in the Team of the Week, and an additional emergency as well. Keeley Kustermann and Chelsea Biddell earned starting spots up their respective ends, as Louella McCarthy made her way onto the bench. Ailish Considine earned her place as an emergency for Round 6. South Adelaide only had the two players made the side this round, with key position talents, Brianna Wedding (defence) and Montana McKinnon (ruck) both standing up in the loss to earn their places in the side.

Central District’s big win over North Adelaide saw Paige Allan enter the team for Round 6, whilst Katelyn Rosenzweig made the side once again at full-forward. Another first-time Team of the Week member in Isabelle Starmer was named on the bench representing the Bulldogs. Despite the defeat, North Adelaide still had three Roosters in the team, as Kristi Harvey once again locked down full-back for the sixth consecutive week. Erica Greet (wing) and Lauren Daniel (interchange) also earned their spots in the side after strong performances.

In the final game, Norwood’s Sophie Armitstead rounds out the onball group after a standout performance, while Jade Halfpenny stood up in crucial moments to be named on the wing after playing forward and onball, while Elizabeth Drake booted two goals and was named in the forward pocket. Their opponents Woodville-West Torrens Eagles had a couple of defenders in Nicole Collie and Renee Forth slotting in the back pocket and half-back after their defensive efforts, while Kiana Lee was strong overhead up forward to earn a place in the team.

DRAFT CENTRAL SANFL WOMEN’S TEAM OF THE WEEK: ROUND 6

B: Hannah Prenzler (ST) – Kristi Harvey (NA) – Nicole Collie (WWT)
HB: Keeley Kustermann (WA) – Brianna Wedding (SA) – Renee Forth (WWT)
C: Erica Greet (NA) – Ellie Kellock (GL) (c) – Jade Halfpenny (NW)
HF: Paige Allan (CD) – Chelsea Biddell (WA) – Lucy Armitage (GL)
F: Elizabeth Drake (NW) – Katelyn Rosenzweig (CD) – Kiana Lee (WWT)
R: Jess Good (ST) (vc) – Sophie Armitstead (NW) – Kate Harris (ST)
INT: Jessica Bates (GL) – Lauren Daniel (NA) – Louella McCarthy (WA) – Montana McKinnon (SA) – Isabelle Starmer (CD) – Jaimee Wittervan (ST)

EMG: Ailish Considine (WA) – Madisyn Freeman (GL) – Isobel Kuiper (ST)

2021 Academy Watch: SANFL Women’s Round 6

THE South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s action featuring the stat’s top young talent returned in Round 6, and we took a look at the State Academy players once again in what was their last preparation ahead of the first AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships match against Western Australia next Sunday. All notes are the opinion of the individual writer.

GLENELG vs. STURT

By: Phoebe Doyle

Glenelg:

#7 Brooke Tonon

A quieter game compared to past weeks for the smooth-moving Glenelg product with 10 disposals, six kicks, four handballs and one mark. However it was a lower-disposal game and Tonon still provided some highlights with her hard running and ability to cover the ground well on the open spaces of the Adelaide Oval.

#12 Tamsyn Morriss

Morriss was fairly quiet during this match, with only five disposals and one mark overall. She did demonstrate some classy defence in the first quarter, but as the ball spent more time in Glenelg’s attack she did not get the chance to show as much of it.

Sturt:

#3 Georgia Swan

Swan was an ever-presence against Glenelg, finishing with the 10 touches and three marks – one contested – as well as two inside 50s. She had a chance at goal in the first quarter from 45 metres out but just fell short. She sat off for a bit at the start of the second quarter, ran straight into it when coming back on to replace an injury, getting a hand on the ball not even a minute after coming on.

#19 Alex Ballard

Putting on the defensive pressure in the first quarter, Ballard came out even stronger in the second quarter, with a nice passage of play leading to a mark and subsequent goal to bring her scoring accuracy to 100 per cent. Despite the goal, Ballard had just the six touches, but laid four tackles to provide some great defensive pressure on the ball carrier.

#20 Hannah Prenzler

Prenzler was prominently in the background throughout the game. The State Academy prospect had an impressive game, finishing with 11 disposals, three marks and a game-high seven rebound 50s. She mopped up in defence time and time again, and with two thirds of her disposals resulting in rebound 50s, it showed how much she was a help in moving the ball along and decongesting play.

#30 Zoe Prowse

Prowse did not necessarily dominate passages of play as she has in the past, but was certainly a help in the background. The talented ruck was able to rest from the ruck duties with Jess Good taking the brunt of it, with Prowse having a quieter game but still clunking a couple of contested marks showing off her aerial ability.

 

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. NORTH ADELAIDE

By: Peter Williams

Central District:

#28 Lauren Breguet

Played a really solid game returning to the SANFL Women’s after missing matches due to concussion and the State Academy game. Leading out from the forward 50, Breguet showed off her trademark strong hands, and then used the ball well by foot on a number of occasions. Breguet’s second efforts were noticeable, when she did turn over a a ball in the first term, but worked hard to intercept the next ball closer to goal. She showed her second efforts again in the third term when she was knocked off it at half-forward, but backed up with a strong tackle to force a turnover and win the ball back for her side. Midway through the final term, Breguet read the ball well at top speed after almost being intercepted, grabbed it cleanly off hands and running in to kick a goal and cap off the performance.

#40 Madison Lane

Not having to do much in the first term with the Bulldogs controlling the ball up the other end, Lane worked into the game when required. She could not quite pull down a mark midway through the second term when it bounced off her chest, but she had a clean pick up before being tackled and locked it up. She laid a fierce tackle late in the term to force a rushed kick, and showed high-level effort and defensive mindset with a lunging tackle at half-back and then an attempted smother immediately after. In the third term, Lane after kicking outside of the boot and out of bounds, she ran hard in defence to receive the ball off the next play and produce a lovely kick out of the defensive 50.

#41 Laitiah Huynh

Huynh had a couple of noticeable plays throughout the match using the ball well when she needed to. Not racking up as much of the ball as past games, Huynh still showed a clean pair of heels on a number of occasions, such as when she turned Kristi Harvey inside out to get goalside close to the line and put it to a dangerous position and set up a goal to Paige Allen. She had a flying snap in the third term which went high and towards a teammate in the goalsquare, then set up a goal to Breguet by marking free at the top of 50 and kick inboard which whilst not perfect, was effective off hands to her teammate to run into goal.

North Adelaide:

#33 Julia Clark

Had a busy start early in the match, starting on a wing and then working hard through to half-back. Whilst she could not quite take the ball cleanly at half-back, she worked hard to quickly gather and give off the quick hands. She won a couple of free kicks – one for going in hard and another through the last touch rule – and produced neat chips with those kicks. Overall a quieter game, but took a couple of good grabs.

#38 Kate Case

Had a crack throughout the game and whilst she was not overly prominent or afforded the time and space that the running talent would like, she mopped up in the back half a number of times. She had a nice play in the final term when she did find space, drawing an opponent then releasing by hand to a teammate at half-forward after going for a bit of a run.

#43 Amelie Borg

The most prominent of the Roosters’ State Academy members, the bottom-age talent worked hard in defence with Kristi Harvey. Showing composure deep in the back 50, Borg mopped up under pressure and was able to clear the ball from congestion with a couple of quick kicks to get it free. She saved a certain goal near the goalsquare with a great tackle 15 minutes into the third term to force a behind, then had a nice one-on-one in the final term with a clean pickup and spin kick forward for distance. Made a couple of errors by foot, but overall did not panic when under pressure.

#47 Jorja Eldridge

Rotated between defence and rolling through the ruck, Eldridge laid a strong tackle early in the game to lock it up at a stoppage, then showed good second efforts at ground level when in the ruck. She made a couple of mistakes when trying to break through a tackle in defence in the third term and was dispossessed for a free kick, and then turned over a ball from deep defence near the top of 50. To her credit, she worked hard up the ground to win the ball in a contest on the wing and then handball to a teammate whilst Eldridge was under pressure, to keep it moving in congestion. She also took a strong grab in the middle and kicked to half-forward midway through the quarter.

 

WWT EAGLES vs. NORWOOD

By: Peter Williams

Eagles:

#8 Charlotte Dolan

Her numbers were down in the match, but Dolan’s intensity at the football was still high, having a number of plays where she attacked the hard ball. She cracked in with some fierce tackles and won plenty of contested possessions, but could not free herself from the stoppage. She won a free kick for going in hard in the second term and kicked to half-forward, often using the ball in transition from space going forward, though was under pressure most of the time.

#25 Jamie Parish

Played up forward this week and did not get to see a lot of it, but Parish did have her first main impact in the second term, leading out from the attacking 50, marking, then spinning and quickly moving it on inside the forward 50. She applied good pressure around the ball carrier and was sighted in defence late in the game offering herself as an option at half-back, but could not quite pull down the mark under pressure, through she did track it.

Norwood:

#15 Alana Lishmund

Had her moments around the ground but like many players did not have a lot of space within which to move the ball. She won it at half-back midway through the second term and kicked forward but the unlucky bounce saw an Eagles defender intercept. She kept working hard throughout the match, and had a nice clearance for her troubles.

#22 Jade Halfpenny

Her form of 2021 continued with a solid first three quarters up forward and an outstanding last quarter in the midfield. The versatile tall had a kick off the ground in the opening 20 seconds of the game, but it went to the right for a behind. Later on in the term she took an intercept mark at half-forward and hit a target inside 50. On a number of occasions she would win the contested ball but be immediately tackled, but in the third term she showed great hands under pressure early to get the ball out to Lana Schwerdt for a snap on goal. The final term saw Halfpenny thrown into the midfield and she immediately had an impact where she won the majority of her disposals for the day. She had a few inside 50s and driving balls going to the danger spots, keeping the ball moving quickly in transition. One kick set up a Mattea Breed goal, and then next stoppage she shrugged off a tackle and kicked long again showing her confidence. She took a great intercept mark on the forward side of the win in the 12th minute, then worked hard to help out in the back half, winning the ball at half0back and chipping into the true centre half-back position.

 

WEST ADELAIDE vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE

By: Michael Alvaro

West Adelaide:

#8 Keeley Kustermann

Stationed in her usual defensive post, Kustermann was resolute as ever and decisive on the ball. She competed well each time her name was called upon and dug in with repeat efforts to help push the ball out of West Adelaide’s defensive 50. One benefit of her competitiveness was a knack of earning free kicks in important areas to help relieve pressure. With ball in hand, Kustermann’s kicking was clean and she made really good decisions when looking further afield. She looks natural when going by foot and plays the percentages well.

#9 Zoe Venning

Venning spent a good amount of time up forward during this outing, but still managed to contribute some handy work around the stoppages and congested areas. She popped up with nice movement at an early contest and would often look to move the ball on quickly by hand when pressured, while also applying solid pressure herself. A couple of key one-on-one wins highlighted Venning’s day; the first was a big holding the ball tackle in term one, and the second was a ground ball win at half-forward which ended in a goal assist.

#30 Lauren Young

Again outstanding in the red and black, Young proved a constant in midfield and later capped off her game with promising work up forward. While she was caught and went to ground on a few occasions when fighting for loose balls, Young’s best traits came to the fore aerially with terrific marks at either end of the ground. She set up well across half-forward to help lock the ball in Westies’ attacking arc and even got back to take a relieving grab deep in defence. Her judgement of the ball in flight was sound, and you cannot fault her willingness to compete on all levels. Young’s kick penetration was another key feature of her game, which was iced fittingly by a final term goal – earned through a holding the ball tackle.

South Adelaide:

#1 Tahlita Buethke

A real ‘moments’ kind of player, Buethke was one of South’s better midfielders on the day and showed flashes of her scintillating best. Her speed away from the contest made for eye-catching centre breaks, with her athleticism also translating to some courageous aerial acts. Buethke often flew back or across to contest high balls, but was also quick to follow up at ground level – showing clean hands at both levels. Her natural game is exciting, with her first instinct nearly always seeing her take off quickly to then boot the Panthers forward. Her kicking at speed could do with some refining, and Buethke found herself caught a couple of times on the run during term two – though a hair malfunction may have distracted her on the second instance.

#5 Sarah Wright

Wright was relatively quiet throughout the game, but worked hard in defence during the early stages to help South Adelaide find a way forward. Her decision making and execution by foot was pretty sound, and she got to showcase a bit of run-and-carry as the game wore on with clean gathers at speed and take-on attempts. A desperate dive to force a rushed behind in the first quarter was among Wright’s best moments for the day.

#36 Gypsy Schirmer

Another who popped up in flashes, Schirmer worked high up the ground to provide an outlet option from defence and showed clean hands when called upon. She did some nice work on the outer with attacking runs and played a hand in one of South’s best end-to-end passages during the third term. On that occasion, Schirmer got into space and moved the ball on quickly to hit a target by foot inside 50. She found herself in the wars during term four as she looked to help out in defence, but seemed to come away unscathed.

#41 Lauren Clifton

Clifton’s run-and-carry was a real feature of her game, with good timing on handball receives allowing for productive play on the outside. She was not afraid to cut inboard or take on opponents ahead of her, backing her speed and then looking to deliver forward by foot. Clifton’s execution at full tilt was not always perfect, but relatively effective under good pressure from Westies. She bookended her outing well and showed nice signs overall.

SANFL Women’s Round 6 wrap: Norwood extends lead at top as Bays and Double Blues play out another draw

IT was quite the day of action on Saturday at Adelaide Oval, with all four games of South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition taking place in a massive quadruple-header at the ground. The top of the table Norwood enjoyed a hard-fought win, there was a draw between Glenelg and Sturt, last year’s wooden spooners smashed the reigning premiers, and West Adelaide had a big win to bounce back from three consecutive losses.

GLENELG 1.4 | 2.7 | 3.9 | 5.9 (39)
STURT 2.0 | 4.1 | 4.2 | 6.3 (39)

GOALS:

Glenelg: M. Freeman 2, L. Armitage, L. Bungey, A. Bradley.
Sturt: A. Healy 2, A. Ballard, A. Brooks-Birve, C. Forby, I. Kuiper.

DC BEST:

Glenelg: E. Kellock, L. Armitage, J. Bates, M. Freeman, T. Kohn
Sturt: J. Good, K. Harris, J. Wittervan, I. Kuiper, H. Prenzler

After four quarters of action, Glenelg and Sturt could not be split, with the Bays and Double Blues playing out a 39-apiece draw to open the massive day of action at Adelaide Oval. The Bays were more inaccurate, having 14 scoring shots to nine, though manage to still come away with a point from the match, and it could have been even more if Alysha Healy had not kicked her second goal in the dying minutes of the match. Nonetheless the teams were evenly matched with a number of standouts, and the team stats reflected that, as the Double Blues – led by Jess Good dominated the hitouts (54-16) and won the clearances (27-22), but the Bays trumped the inside 50s count (32-25).

Good recorded a season competition-high 46 hitouts for the Double Blues, getting better and better as the weeks go on, also picking up 10 touches, five tackles, three clearances and five inside 50s in the process. She was far from the only standout though, with Kate Harris having a game-high seven clearances to go with 16 touches and six tackles, whilst Jaimee Wittervan (19 disposals, four clearances, four inside 50s and seven tackles) and Isobel Kuiper (14 disposals, four clearances, four tackles and four rebound 50s) were strong in midfield. Hannah Prenzler returned from captaining her state to pick up a game-high seven rebound 50s with 11 disposals and three marks, while Alisha Gepp was busy once again with 14 touches, five tackles and three clearances.

Glenelg’s Ellie Kellock did all she could in a losing effort, racking up 21 disposals, three marks, seven tackles, six clearances and five inside 50s, working hard alongside the likes of Lucy Armitage, Jessica Bates and Tessa Kohn. The trio combined for 12 clearances and 25 tackles themselves, providing a staunch defence to the opposition. Madisyn Freeman slotted two goals up the other end, also amassing 13 disposals, two marks and six tackles in the process.

 

CENTRAL DISTRICT 3.1 | 4.1 | 6.3 | 9.3 (57)
NORTH ADELAIDE 0.0 | 2.0 | 2.0 | 2.1 (13)

GOALS:

Central: K. Rosenzweig 2, C. Reynolds 2, P. Allan, L. Breguet, A. James.
North: B. Arthur, J. Tabb.

DC BEST:

Central: K. Rosenzweig, P. Allan, L. Breguet, A. Butler, C Wendland.
North: L. Daniel. K. Harvey, E. Greet, K. Reynolds, J. Tabb

Central District reaffirmed itself as a genuine contender after putting reigning premiers North Adelaide to the sword in an outstanding performance. The Bulldogs beat the Roosters at their own game, absorbing the pressure early, and piling on the goals in the second half to run away with the contest by 44 points. Rarely does a reigning wooden spooner account for a reigning premier by more than seven goals, but the Bulldogs did just that, kicking five consecutive goals after leading by 13 points at half-time to continue their high-scoring escapades this season. Katelyn Rosenzweig was again the chief architect with 2.1, equalling the entire opposition team, whilst Chantel Reynolds also kicked a couple of majors. The Bulldogs shared the ball around but win the disposal count by 26 (193-167), marks by 17 (59-42) and led all the hitouts, clearances, inside 50s, rebound 50s ad tackles in an all-round promising performance.

Rosenzweig was strong with three contested marks out of her five or the game, as well as 10 disposals, three hitouts and two rebound 50s with her two goals. Reynolds was efficient with two goals from three kicks and five touches, whilst there were others who stepped up for their best games of the season. Paige Allan had a day out with 12 disposals, four marks and a goal, while Taryn Wills (13 disposals, five marks), Caitlin Wendland (12 disposals, five marks and a goal) and Alicia Butler (11 disposals, three marks – two contested – three clearances and three inside 50s) were also busy.

Erica Greet had the most touches on the ground, with the Rooster picking up 18 disposals, two marks, two tackles and three inside 50s in the loss. Kristi Harvey was strong throughout once again with 15 touches, five marks and three rebound 50s, teaming up with youngster Amelie Borg (eight disposals, three marks, three tackles and three rebound 50s) in defence. Lauren Daniel (14 disposals, six marks, three clearances and two inside 50s), Kathryn Reynolds (10 disposals, five marks, three tackles and three inside 50s) and Jaimi Tabb (10 disposals, six tackles, two clearances and a goal) were others who worked hard throughout the game.

 

WWT EAGLES 0.1 | 1.2 | 2.3 | 3.4 (22)
NORWOOD 1.5 | 2.5 | 2.6 | 4.8 (32)

GOALS:

Eagles: K. Lee, J. Tabb, J. Zecevic.
Norwood: E. Drake 2, R. Zerella, M. Breed.

DC BEST:

Eagles: N. Collie, R. Forth, K. Lee, A. Falkenberg, S. Goody
Norwood: S. Armitstead, J. Halfpenny, L. Cutting, E. Drake, S. Syme

Norwood has won its fifth consecutive game with a 10-point triumph over the in-form Woodville-West Torrens Eagles. The Redlegs peppered the goals early and did not make as much of their chances as they could have, with the Eagles cutting the deficit to just three points at the final break. Two goals early in the fourth term cemented the Bloods’ control, and whilst the Eagles kicked a consolation major in the last minute, it would not be enough, going down 4.8 (32) to 3.4 (22). Norwood dominated possession (210-167), and easily won the hitouts (34-10), clearances (28-19) and inside 50s (35-15), which was a credit to the Eagles’ defence to not suffer a larger defeat, but they racked up the 29 rebound 50s to 12 to show a staunch resistance to the Redlegs’ attack.

Sophie Armitstead led the way with 17 disposals, five clearances and four inside 50s, as youngster Jade Halfpenny again stepped up in the midfield with a fantastic 15 touches, four marks, three clearances and seven inside 50s. Isabel Martin (14 disposals, three inside 50s), Sachi Syme (13 disposals, four tackles, five clearances and three inside 50s) and Leah Cutting (12 disposals, four marks, 33 hitouts, four tackles, two clearances and four inside 50s) were others in the midfield who impressed, as Elizabeth Drake slotted two goals from 13 touches and five marks up forward.

The defensive work of Nicole Collie (20 disposals, six marks – two contested – three tackles and five rebound 50s) and Renee Forth (17 disposals five marks, three tackles and five rebound 50s) helped keep the Eagles in the contest, while Shineah Goody (14 disposals, two clearance sand two tackles) and Anastasia Falkenberg (13 disposals, three marks, five tackles and three rebound 50s) were good once again. Kiana Lee slotted the last goal of the game for her side yet again, and finished with 12 disposals, six marks – three contested – three tackles and 1.1.

 

WEST ADELAIDE 2.3 | 2.6 | 4.11 | 7.11 (53)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 1.0 | 1.1 | 1.2 | 2.4 (16)

GOALS:

West: C. Biddell 2, M. Elsegood 2, K. Culhane, S. Whjiting, L. Young.
South: J. Kirk, L. Whiteley.

DC BEST:

West: C. Biddell, L. Young, L. McCarthy, A. Considine, K. Kustermann
South: B. Wedding, M. McKinnon, L. Whiteley, J. Griffen, J. Kirk

West Adelaide bounced back from three consecutive losses to produce a sterling 37-point win over South Adelaide in the last game at Adelaide Oval. The Bloods booted five goals to one after half-time following a tight first half, to begin to capitalise on their scoring opportunities, of which they had 18 scoring shots to six during the comprehensive 7.11 (53) to 2.4 (16) victory. With their AFL Women’s stars and State Academy members back in the side and leading the way again, the Westies had too much firepower for the Panthers during the big win. The key differences in the stats were the hitouts heavily in South’s favour (27-7), though West just sharked them with a domination in the clearances (23-9) and inside 50s (29-23).

Keeley Kustermann relished the open space of Adelaide Oval with a team-high 17 disposals, as fellow young guns Lauren Young (15 disposals, two marks, five tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and a goal) and Zoe Venning (11 disposals, two marks, five tackles and two clearances) also had good days upon return. Chelsea Biddell was huge with 2.2 from 15 touches, eight marks and five inside 50s, while fellow Adelaide Crows talents, Madison Newman (16 disposals, three marks and five tackles) and Ailish Considine (12 disposals, five marks, four inside 50s and three rebound 50s) were also impressive. Louella McCarthy continued her strong form with 17 touches, four tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s in the victory.

Brianna Wedding‘s work in defence this year remained strong with four marks – two contested – six rebound 50s and 20 disposals the end result for the tall. Supporting her throughout the match were Jaimi Griffen (17 disposals, five marks, two tackles and two rebound 50s), Lisa Whiteley (15 disposals, five marks, four tackles and two inside 50s) and Czenya Cavouras (12 disposals, five tackles, two clearance and three inside 50s) impressive through the midfield. Montana McKinnon dominated in the ruck yet again with 11 touches, four marks – three contested – 23 hitouts and six inside 50s, while Jess Kirk slotted 1.1 from eight disposals, three marks – two contested – and four tackles.

 

Picture credit: Scott Starkey