Tag: julia clark

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.

South Australia wins thriller in opening AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships match

SOUTH Australia has held off a determined Western Australia by six points in the opening game of the 2021 AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships on Sunday. The two states clashed in perfect conditions at Flinders University Stadium, and given the teams boasted strong defences, it was no surprise to see the match was a low-scoring slog, but one that provided plenty of highlights. After getting out to a two-goal lead in the second term and then again midway through the last, South Australia could never quite shake the Sandgropers until the final siren, winning 3.5 (23) to 2.5 (17).

Indeed, even the final kick of the day – a quick siren-beating snap from Melisha Hardy – threatened to change the script, though it ended up falling short in her bid to level the scores on the buzzer. More than once it looked like South Australia had the game on its terms, but the West Australians refused to give in, and the defence held up against fierce pressure, with their counterparts down the other end doing the same when forwards had golden opportunities.

Lauren Clifton opened the scoring five and a half minutes into the match after a great Georgia Swan pass, with WA missing a couple of chances through Ella Roberts and Jaide Britton. Roberts would end up having plenty of chances throughout the day, with three attempted shots on target marked in the goalsquare or on the goal line.

When a coach-killing turnover from a rushed kick in the back pocket found an uncontested Gypsy Schirmer 25 metres out straight in front, the AFL Women’s Academy member made it two from two for the home club South Adelaide, and then kicked a behind on the run five minutes later for the Croweaters to be out by 11 points late in the quarter. East Fremantle’s Chloe Reilly saved the day with a goal from a turnover herself, converting the set shot a few minutes out from half-time and cutting the deficit to five points at the main break.

The third term was an armwrestle with neither team able to put one through the big sticks. The home crowd was getting animated at some of the 50/50 calls going the way of the visitors, and when Laitiah Huynh‘s quick hands to Clifton in the goalsquare was deemed a throw, the grandstand was up and about at the missed opportunity. There were run-down tackles galore through the match, including a huge one from Beth Schilling on Sarah Branford, which even eclipsed Roberts’ effort in the first term on Tamsyn Morriss running into goal.

South Australia had the early momentum in the fourth term, peppering the goals with some flying shots from Alana Lishmund, Lauren Breguet, Jade Halfpenny and Huynh who all tried their luck. That was until the play of the day, from defence to attack, starting with Brooke Tonon, involving Julia Clark, Charlotte Dolan, Swan and then Keeley Kustermann on the end of the chain. The West Adelaide bottom-ager made no mistake with the set shot goal, converting the major and handing her side what looked to be a match-winning 11-point lead.

Roberts had other ideas however. A freakish snap from the pocket four minutes later – which many could not believe – bounced on a right angle and through the goals. However she had multiple shots that were identical earlier in the match, but this time the goalkeepers in Alex Ballard and Jamie Parish were not there to stop her. A Huynh behind made it six points with four minutes on the clock, and tensions both on and off the field were high.

The Peel Thunder tall in Roberts was marking everything late in the game, then even roved Zoe Prowse‘s tap and kicked towards the square to try and kick her second, but Parish was there to mop it up again. The final minute saw a clever play from Schirmer, aware her frustrated opponent was going to knock into her back late made sure it was a 50-metre penalty and chewed more time off the clock. When Prowse bombed it inside 50 up the other end with 30 seconds left, many were ready to celebrate.

This time, it was Makaela Tuhakaraina who had other ideas. Having played a solid game on debut for her state in the code, the South Fremantle elite speedster just burned through the defence, taking a couple of bounces and weaved her way to the middle, amazing even the South Australian fans. She hit up captain Britton who put the ball towards Roberts and the quick snap inside 50 – after a momentary fumble – went to Hardy who snapped a second before the siren sounded, but it went high and wide, not getting enough distance or penetration on the kick to level the scores.

Picking best players across both sides was near impossible, with Prowse being outstanding in the ruck, Huynh great up forward, particularly in the first half, and Zoe Venning and Kustermann clean around the ball. Halfpenny kept being a thorn in the opposition’s side, whilst Ballard, Hannah Prenzler and Brooke Tonon all drove the ball out of the defensive 50 time and time again.

For the losers, Roberts was hard to miss with her game-breaking ability, but her Peel Thunder teammates in Schilling, Courtney Rowley and Britton were all solid across four quarters. Matilda Dyke on the last line intercepted plenty of footy, while Tara Stribley created some run and carry on the outside, and Emily Bennett was terrific at half-back.

All in all, both sides would have plenty to take out of the game and will be well prepared to head to Queensland in a fortnight where South Australia takes on the home state and the Allies, while Western Australia faces both Vic Country and Vic Metro.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA 1.1 | 2.2 | 2.2 | 3.5 (23)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 0.2 | 1.3 | 1.5 | 2.5 (17)

GOALS:

South Australia: L. Clifton, G. Schirmer, K. Kustermann.
Western Australia: C. Reilly, E. Roberts.

DC BEST:

South Australia: Z. Prowse, L. Huynh, Z. Venning, A. Ballard, H. Prenzler, G. Schirmer
Western Australia: E. Roberts, B. Schilling, C. Rowley, J. Britton, M. Dyke, E. Bennett

2021 AFLW U19 Championships match preview: South Australia vs. Western Australia

AFTER more than 18 months without an AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, the adjusted Under 19 Championships kick-off tomorrow with South Australia up against Western Australia. It will be the first match of the Round 1 fixtures that also feature Vic Country locking horns with Vic Metro, before the four sides – along with host state Queensland and the Allies – battle it out at Metricon Stadium on April 12 and 15.

South Australia come into the match with plenty of experienced inside talents and outside runners with great speed. Their defensive pressure and abundance of running defenders are other highlights of the squad that will hold them in good stead. For Western Australia, they have a dynamic and versatile line-up, with plenty of goal-scoring options, and contested marking talents who are strong one-on-one.

SA DEFENCE vs. WA ATTACK

B: Jamie Parish – Hannah Prenzler – Madison Lane
F: Ashleigh Reidy – Ella Roberts – Bella Edgley
HB: Tamsyn Morriss – Alex Ballard – Brooke Tonon
HF: Aisha Wright – Chloe Reilly – Mylee Leitch

There is plenty of X-factor in the front six for the Sandgropers, with Ella Roberts a bottom-age marking target with great athleticism and quick speed off the mark. She can pull down contested marks and snap remarkable goals, leaving the opposition in awe of ways to contain her. Hannah Prenzler has been named to potentially take her on first, with the Sturt talent able to read the ball well in flight, and will want to stay in front of her opponent given Roberts’ speed on the lead. Bella Edgley and Chloe Reilly are the other marking targets inside 50, with Madison Lane smaller than Edgley, but smart at ground level, whilst Alex Ballard will be an even match with Reilly in the air. Glenelg duo Tamsyn Morriss and Brooke Tonon will look to provide the run off half-back against a couple of youngsters in Mylee Leitch and Aisha Wight, while Jamie Parish will look to use her strength against Ash Reidy in the other pocket.

SA ATTACK vs. WA DEFENCE

HF: Laitiah Huynh – Georgia Swan – Tahlita Buethke
HB: Bella Mann – Beth Schilling – Emily Bennett
F: Lauren Breguet – Lauren Clifton – Jade Halfpenny
B: Emma Nanut – Matilda Dyke – Melisha Hardy

Up the other end, a small South Australian forward line will look to get the ball to ground and use their speed, with the forward entries crucial to the success of the Croweaters. Western Australia have the advantage in the air, with many of their defenders more than capable one-on-one, and taller than their respective opponents. Jade Halfpenny is the key tall inside 50 for the home team, and she has been named in a forward pocket against Melisha Hardy. The Swan Districts defender is good one-on-one, and whilst she has some toe, Halfpenny might have her in that regard, so will be better to utilise her speed on the lead. One-on-one Hardy will be difficult to beat, whilst Emily Bennett and Matilda Dyke are others in the same boat. Tahlita Buethke will have the speed in her matchup, with Lauren Clifton also having that advantage despite predominantly playing up the other end at SANFL Women’s level. Lauren Breguet returns after a couple of weeks off due to concussion, and she will have a great battle one-on-one with Emma Nanut, whilst Laitiah Huynh and Bella Mann are both tackling, fierce players who will not take a backwards step. Beth Schilling will have too much height in the air for Georgia Swan, but the Sturt forward will look to compete and bring the ball to ground and create scoring opportunities.

SA MIDFIELD vs. WA MIDFIELD

R: Zoe Prowse – Lauren Young – Zoe Venning
R: Sarah Lakay – Courtney Rowley – Makaela Tuhakaraina
C: Kate Case – Keeley Kustermann – Gypsy Schirmer
C: Naomi Baker – Dana East – Jaide Britton

The midfield battle has a massive number of not-to-be-missed one-on-ones. Regardless of who lines up on who, it will be a classic contest. Lauren Young is the youngest player on the field at 15-years-old but will have the height advantage over her rivals, and ironically is two centimetres taller than her ruck, Zoe Prowse. The Sturt tall has a great leap and will look to take advantage, but has an equal in that regard with Sarah Lakay incredibly athletic and nine centimetres taller than the South Australian. Both have similar attributes but Prowse has more experience and will cause headaches with second efforts around the ground. Lakay will look to get clean taps to the advantage of her teammates to stop Prowse applying pressure as that “fourth midfielder”. The battle between Zoe Venning and Makaela Tuhakaraina will be one that provides plenty of punch. Both have an incredible appetite for contested ball, and will not take a backwards step. Tuhakaraina has the upper hand in athleticism with elite speed and agility, but Venning is no slouch either, consistent across the board. She has more runs on the board as well, with her opponent coming from a rugby union background. Venning will have the footy smarts to go forward and impact the scoreboard there.

Courtney Rowley and Dana East will take on the West Adelaide youngsters in Young and Keeley Kustermann. Rowley and Kustermann both have terrific kicking skills and great balance, whilst East is terrific inside the contest with clean hands, able to distribute the ball to teammates on the outside. Young is developing her game with great ability in the air and around the ground, and will be too tall for her respective opponents around the ground and is the tallest South Australian in the match. Prowse will have to use all of her energy to battle against multiple opponents, with Lakay likely to receive support from Schilling and South Fremantle’s Lauren Wakfer, whilst Prowse will rely on Halfpenny and Jorja Eldridge as potential back up options. On the wings, AFL Women’s Academy member Gypsy Schirmer provides that elite speed, and Sandgropers co-captain Jaide Britton will look to contain her whilst getting the ball forward in transition herself. On the other wing, Kate Case and Naomi Baker both share similar traits with the ability to move the ball in transition and play off flanks as well.

SA INTERCHANGE vs WA INTERCHANGE

SA INT: Alana Lishmund – Jorja Eldridge – Julia Clark – Charlotte Dolan – Amelie Borg – Sarah Branford
WA INT: Lauren Wakfer – Emily Gunton – Tara Stribley – Emily Boothman – Amy Franklin – Nyra Anderson

The depth of both sides is impressive, though the bench talent goes in the favour of Western Australia, with AFL Women’s Academy member with Amy Franklin keeping the opposition guessing able to play up either end. Tara Stribley is easily a starting wing on any given day and will provide terrific run on the outside. Nyra Anderson is a goal-scoring machine and has come in due to injuries and is a 2001-born talent who is making her mark at WAFL Women’s level year after year. Developing ruck Wakfer, as well as fellow bottom-agers Emily Gunton and Emily Boothman round out the interchange. For South Australia, they have a host of fierce tackling talents there, led by Norwood’s Alana Lishmund, North Adelaide’s Julia Clark and Woodville-West Torrens’ Charlotte Dolan. Eldridge has the versatility to play in multiple positions, as does Amelie Borg who gets her chance as a bottom-age tall. At the opposite end of the height scale, the tenacious Sarah Branford will provide skill and decision making in the forward half.

OVERALL:

The game is set to be a thriller, with the teams really strong in different areas. It is predicted to be mild temperatures, but no rain at this stage, so the talls of Western Australia should be strong if the inside 50s are to their advantage. South Australia have the strength on the inside to win the ball forward, but cannot afford to hack it inside with the Sandgropers’ ability to intercept so well, and be in front position on their opponent. Once the ball hits the deck, the South Australians will be favoured, but a lot of the match will be determined by the midfields. The midfield that can take full advantage and get the ball forward in terms of quality rather than quantity will automatically be well placed to take out the match.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Picture credit: SANFL / Cory Sutton

2021 SANFL Women’s Team of the Week: Round 4

NEW ladder leaders Norwood and the resurgent South Adelaide top our list of nominees in the Draft Central South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s Team of the Week for Round 4, with four players apiece in the squad. There was still plenty of shared contribution from the six other sides, with Round 4 winners Glenelg and Woodville-West Torrens Eagles, as well as losers North Adelaide and Central District having three players apiece. Sturt and West Adelaide only had the two each, but filled out the three emergency spots between them.

Norwood ruck Leah Cutting was named captain of the side after a dominant performance in the Redlegs’ win over North Adelaide, leading the way and retaking the starting ruck spot in the team. She was joined by teammates, Morgan Johnston, Ella Murison and Jade Halfpenny who all impressed in the forward half of the ground and midfield respectively. Also in the side is South Adelaide’s Czenya Cavouras with a strong role through the middle earning her the vice-captaincy for this year. Next to her in the side was the returning Hannah Munyard, as Brianna Wedding (centre half-back) and Montana McKinnon (interchange) also made the side for this week.

Glenelg had three representatives as they bounced back from a loss with a good win, with Jessica Bates and Brooke Tonon winning plenty of ball in the defensive half and running it down the ground, while Ellie Kellock capitalised with two goals up forward. Also up forward was Woodville-West Torrens’ Jessica Sedunary who slotted two majors in her side’s win over Central District, joined in the side by young gun Shineah Goody and Stephanie Walker this week.

North Adelaide might have dropped its first game of the season, but the Roosters had the reliable Kristi Harvey once again locking down full-back, while midfielder Jaimi Tabb, and fellow youngster Julia Clark also made the side after a strong performance. Central District’s loss saw a repeat of the three players from last week back in the side, with Shelby Smith in midfield, Madison Lane in defence, and Caitlen Teague on the interchange for Round 4.

The two remaining teams in Sturt and West Adelaide had the two representatives apiece. The Double Blues’ Georgia Swan and Jaimee Wittervan earned places in the Team of the Week for Round 4, while Hannah Prenzler was named as one of the emergencies. For West Adelaide, midfielder Lauren Young slotted three goals all from set shot opportunities close to goal, so as the round’s leading goalkicker was named at full-forward in this hypothetical team. Another State Academy member in Zoe Venning made the 24-player squad, while Chelsea Biddell and Keeley Kustermann were also close to squeezing in despite the loss, named as the other two emergencies with Prenzler.

DRAFT CENTRAL SANFL WOMEN’S TEAM OF THE WEEK: ROUND 4

B: Madison Lane (CD) – Kristi Harvey (NA) – Jessica Bates (GL)
HB: Julia Clark (NA) – Brianna Wedding (SA) – Brooke Tonon (GL)
C: Shineah Goody (WWT) – Czenya Cavouras (SA) (vc) – Hannah Munyard (SA)
HF: Georgia Swan (ST) – Morgan Johnston (NW) – Ellie Kellock (GL)
F: Ella Murison (NW) – Lauren Young (WA) – Jessica Sedunary (WWT)
R: Leah Cutting (NW) (c) – Shelby Smith (CD) – Jaimi Tabb (NA)
INT: Jade Halfpenny (NW) – Montana McKinnon (SA) – Caitlen Teague (CD) – Zoe Venning (WA) – Stephanie Walker (WWT) – Jaimee Wittervan (ST)

EMG: Chelsea Biddell (WA) – Keeley Kustermann (WA) – Hannah Prenzler (ST)

2021 AFLW U19 Championships state preview: South Australia

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

2021 SOUTH AUSTRALIA AFLW U19 CHAMPIONSHIPS SQUAD:

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

QUICK SUMMARY:

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

FIXTURES:

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

FIVE TO WATCH: (2003-BORN)

Zoe Prowse (Sturt)

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

Gypsy Schirmer (South Adelaide)

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

Zoe Venning (West Adelaide)

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

Madison Lane (Central)

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

Brooke Tonon (Glenelg)

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

OTHERS:

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

SQUAD STRENGTHS:

  • Defensive pressure
  • Speed
  • Rebounding defenders
  • Skill

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

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

LAST WORD:

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

Picture credit: On The Ball Media

2021 Academy Watch: SANFL Women’s Round 4

IT was a tight round of South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s action in Round 4, 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.

WWT EAGLES vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT

By: Peter Willams

Eagles:

#8 Charlotte Dolan

Attacked the contest hard throughout the four quarters and is always heavily involved with the umpires both ways; receiving free kicks for getting to the ball first and being tackled high, then going overzealous with a tackle herself and giving one away. You know exactly where to find her – at the bottom of a pack, on top of an opponent or ready to receive the ball in close. Throughout the match she showed good strength to run the ball in transition and drove the ball inside 50 on a number of occasions, having a purple patch early in the fourth term, as well as showing clean hands at ground level.

#25 Jamie Parish

Winning the ball at both half-forward and half-back, showed off her versatility which will come in handy at the AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships. She had strong hands to clunk grabs around the ground and is quick to dispose of the ball, such as when she was close to the boundary line on the wing, five minutes into the third team.

Central:

#40 Madison Lane

Having a great season in 2021, the rebounding defender has found her niche in defence with clean hands, good footy IQ and clean kicking out of the back half. She did have a moment to forget when giving away a 50m penalty for not handing the ball back sooner in the second term resulting an opposition goal, but otherwise had a superb performance. Time and time again she would mop up for her side, show a clean pair of heels, pick up the ball at full speed and deliver to a free teammate at half-back or down the wing. She put up a four-quarter performance and was one of the Bulldogs’ best on the day.

#41 Laitiah Huynh

The small forward might not have had the impact she has in past weeks, but kept working hard throughout the four quarters. Huynh had a few almost-moments with an almost-grab at half-forward early in the match, then burst out of a pack inside 50 but was run down. Throw in a terribly unlucky bounce early in the fourth term, and the luck was not on her side. However in saying that, her defensive pressure all day was still red-hot and she had a good final term with quick hands and tracking an opponent at half-forward to force a turnover. Another highlight came late in the first term when an opponent attempted to fend her off but she denied that and locked up the ball in a tackle.

 

WEST ADELAIDE vs. GLENELG

By: Peter Williams

West Adelaide:

#8 Keeley Kustermann

Played an aggressive running game off half-back and along the wing with quick disposal and using her lovely long kicking to advantage. Possessing a penetrating kick and great balance on either side, Kustermann routinely beat her opponent to the ball and would either win, or nullify the contest. The bottom-age talent was utilised kicking out of defence, and then in the third term had a number of long kicks from the top of 50 deep to the danger zone to try and create scoring opportunities in the second half.

#9 Zoe Venning

Stringing together a really good 2021 season, Venning was once again very prominent for the Bloods throughout four quarters. A fierce inside midfielder who has the capacity to spread to the outside and get it forward, she packs a punch by throwing herself at the hard ball and shovelling it out to teammates. She won a free kick late in the first term, and with no one on the mark ran to 55m out and delivered perfectly to Lauren Young inside 50 for a goal. She read the ball well in flight 11 minutes into the second term and read it off hands well midway through the third to snap inside 50 off a stoppage, as some of her other highlights for the match.

#30 Lauren Young

After dominating in the air in defence in Round 1 – whilst still playing as a midfielder – and then racking up big numbers through the middle the last two weeks, it was only natural for the 179cm 15-year-old to go forward and slot three majors to desperately try and haul her side over the line. Still roaming through the middle and just finding the right spots in the forward 50, she kicked two goals in six minutes in the opening term with a strong mark and set shot 20m out, then a free kick 15m out to give her team a perfect start. Just as Glenelg was getting on top with momentum, Young bobbed up again with another contested mark four minutes into the final term to put the Bloods back in front by six points. She also had her fair share of touches around the ground and would pump it out of defensive 50 throughout the match too.

Glenelg:

#7 Brooke Tonon

Has really developed into a consistent midfielder running on the outside and accumulating the ball with ease. While at times she can rush, when she knows she has the time and space, she can take the game on, break it open and gain some serious meterage. Her sidestepping and ability to get out of trouble is a treat, and despite being lightly-built compared to some opponents, just lays fierce tackles. As versatile as they come, able to play in all thirds of the ground.

#12 Tamsyn Morriss

Had another solid outing with her consistent foot skills and reading of the play on show. She worked hard on the last line, and provided defensive pressure such as a big tackle on Chelsea Biddell early in the match to force a stoppage, and then a potential match-winning effort on the goal-line to go back at speed, cleanly grab the ball before it bounced through and kicked clear.

 

NORWOOD vs. NORTH ADELAIDE

By: Peter Williams

Norwood:

#15 Alana Lishmund

Quickly got involved in the contest with a kick out of midfield 35 seconds into the game, and then dropped back to help out the defence with a nice kick to half-back. In the second term she did well in a one-on-one contested at half-forward to force the ball to ground, then laid a big dumping tackle early in the final term. She showed her strength midway through the fourth quarter by wrestling the ball out of an opponents’ grasp and got her boot to ball.

#22 Jade Halfpenny

The versatile forward found herself inside the centre square at the start of each quarter and spent substantial time up the ground around the stoppages. Despite being known for her forward leading and strength overhead, Halfpenny was just as influential around the ball and took to it with ease, having played in the midfield before, but this was an increased role. She was able to utilise her speed and athleticism in the first term, bursting out of the stoppages and kicking inside 50. Whilst she was still able to go forward and have an impact, there were a number of highlights to point out throughout the match. Her best was her goal in the fifth minute where she competed against two defenders, smothered an opponent, kept tracking it and ran into an open goal to seal the deal for the Redlegs. She also did well 10 minutes into the third term where she shrugged off a would-be tackler, spun out and was tackled again but got her hands free well to the outnumber. Usually a player whose impact is far greater than her stats, her Round 4 performance was no different.

North Adelaide:

#33 Julia Clark

Had a really impressive game, arguably her best of the season, and maybe SANFL Women’s career. She still brought the heat with her tackling pressure, but it was her work rate and ability to push up and down the ground and win more of the ball than previous matches, whilst showing composure under pressure which all stood out. Clark always puts her head over the ball and tries to run in space to create some movement in transition, and whilst she will always be tough to beat one-on-one, Clark showed her offensive traits to match her defensive ones.

#38 Kate Case

A quieter game for the smooth mover who still worked around the ground but could just not quite get into the action. Had a couple of important touches and in the 15th minute of the final term went up for a mark, could not quite bring it down but showed good recovery to handball to a teammate.

#47 Jorja Eldridge

Returning to the Roosters side for her first game in 2021, Eldridge played in close and helped chop out in the ruck. She was undersized at the ruck stoppages, but is able to use her strength to move her opponent, whilst her second efforts – which included a tackle at ground level after losing the tap – was what helped provide a “fourth midfielder” there. She showed good defensive pressure and laid some strong tackles, as well as quick hands at ground level.

 

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. STURT

By: Liam Badkin

South Adelaide:

#1 Tahlita Buethke

Had a strong game and particularly strong last quarter. Took two intercept marks in the final term when Sturt was trying to create some run out of its backline. Put her head over the ball in multiple contests and was rewarded for doing so.

#5 Sarah Wright

Played her role well throughout all four quarters. She was reliable by foot whenever she had the ball and would be pleased with her three rebound 50’s as she created some run for her teammates.

#36 Gypsy Schimer

Did not have too much of the ball, but did not need to as she was damaging whenever she got it. Used her pace brilliantly out of the backline and seemed to be always creating for her team. Absolutely crunching an opponent during a bump in the last quarter proved a particular highlight.

#41 Lauren Clifton

A quiet day but had her moments. Found herself involved in play even when she did not have the ball in her hands.

Sturt:

#3 Georgia Swan

Had an absolute field day, racking up a season-best 20 disposals. She was electric around the stoppages and took excellent marks in the air. Used her explosiveness to hurt the opposition and create opportunities for her teammates. Did her work on the defensive end too, laying four tackles for the day.

#19 Alex Ballard

Was fantastic in the defensive half, using the ball well and taking a game-high seven marks to go with her 13 disposals. Constantly tried to create for Sturt in the last term, even though the ball was constantly being sent back in. Took on her opponent on the mark on multiple occasions in some exciting passages.

#20 Hannah Prenzler

Was crucial in driving the ball out of Sturt’s backline, finishing with an equal game-high five rebound 50’s from her ten disposals. Consistently found herself in space and worked well in tandem with her backline teammates to rebound the ball out of defence.

#30 Zoe Prowse

Faced a tough task against Montana McKinnon, and did not get her usual amount of hitouts, but was exceptional at ground level. Finished with 10 disposals and four clearances as she tormented her opponents with her follow up work after the ruck contest. Spent time as an on-baller and was explosive out of the stoppages.

 

Picture credit: SANFL / Peter Swan

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

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

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

GOALS:

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

DC BEST:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

GOALS:

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

DC BEST:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

GOALS:

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

DC BEST:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

GOALS:

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

DC BEST:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Picture credit: SANFL / Cory Sutton

2021 Academy Watch: SANFL Women’s – Round 3

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

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE

Central:

#40 Madison Lane

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

#41 Laitiah Huynh

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

South:

#1 Tahlita Buethke

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

#5 Sarah Wright

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

#36 Gypsy Schirmer

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

#41 Lauren Clifton

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

 

NORWOOD vs. STURT

Norwood:

#22 Jade Halfpenny

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

#30 Sarah Branford

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

Sturt:

#3 Georgia Swan

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

#19 Alex Ballard

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

#20 Hannah Prenzler

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

#30 Zoe Prowse

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

 

WWT EAGLES vs. GLENELG

Eagles:

#8 Charlotte Dolan

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

#25 Jamie Parish

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

#33 Brooklyn Kraft

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

Glenelg:

#7 Brooke Tonon

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

#12 Tamsyn Morriss

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

 

WEST ADELAIDE vs. NORTH ADELAIDE

West:

#8 Keeley Kustermann

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

#9 Zoe Venning

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

#30 Lauren Young

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

North:

#31 Hannah Ewings

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

#33 Julia Clark

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

#38 Kate Case

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

 

Picture credit: Cory Sutton / SANFL