Tag: keeley kustermann

Scott boots last three goals to steal game for Vic Country

ROUND 2 of the AFLW U19s National Championships was opened up with an exciting contest between South Australia and Victoria Country at Avalon Airport Oval in Werribee, with the midfield battle being an essential part of the eventual Country victory. Forward half efficiency initially evaded Country, never having any more goals than points, but the repeated entries became too much for SA to deal with, as bottom-aged forward Paige Scott decided to win the game off her own boot, leading to the 5.6 (36) to 3.3 (21).

The first quarter was a strong start for South Australia, with a lot of drive being produced from their engine room with Zoe Prowse and Lauren Young combining well as a ruck and rover duo to win plenty of it from stoppages, with their hard-work rewarded by teammates Lauren Breguet and Lauren Clifton with clinical finishing in front of goal. For Country, the efforts of Elizabeth Snell and Grace McRae saw them involved in plenty early on, and slowly get on top as the quarter went on, with Country getting a goal through co-captain Tara Slender, with three more shots on goal drifting just wide, seeing SA lead at quarter time 2.0 (12) to 1.3 (9).

The second quarter felt like much more of an arm wrestle, with neither team getting many deep inside 50s. Jade Halfpenny took advantage of one of the few that South Australia got, running onto a loose ball early in the quarter, fending off an opponent and then dribbling from the outside of her boot to kick SA’s solitary goal for the quarter. Keeley Kustermann started to win more of the ball in the midfield as well, linking up with the likes of Laitiah Hunyh and Brooke Tonon for some nice passages of play. Country had Nyakoat Dojiok and Jaide Anthony to thank for a sound defensive effort, both being strong aerially players and providing plenty of run going forward, with Dojiok delivering a lovely kick to Renee Tierney in the goal square to kick Country’s only goal, seeing the quarter end 3.0 (18) to 2.5 (17) SA’s way.

The third term was a bit of a breakout quarter from County, with their bottom-aged star forward Paige Scott, coming off a two goal performance against Vic Metro, kicking two solid goals, with one in particular involving her out running an opponent to belt it through. Her teammate on the wing, Aurora Smith, also had a good quarter, with her work through traffic being a highlight. South Australia saw Zoe Venning have good moments as well, competing strongly in stoppages and at ground level, but also being damaging in the air. Rotating ruck Amelie Borg was strong as a kick-behind defender, troubling Country talls. The quarter ended 4.5 (29) to 3.3 (21) with Country leading.

Early on in the fourth term, South Australian midfielder Brooke Tonon tackled Anthony on the wing with the latter unfortunately having to be stretchered from the ground and Tonon subsequently red carded from it, with Slender also sent off with a yellow card later on for a late high hit on an opponent. Despite these unfortunate incidents, the final quarter gave us a fairly exciting finish, with Scott getting herself a third early on. South Australia went on to control a lot of the play for the rest of the quarter, with the two standouts Prowse and Young continuing to do all they could to get SA across the line, and Charlotte Dolan applying elite pressure in the forward half.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA 2.0 | 3.0 | 3.3 | 3.3 (21)
VIC COUNTRY 1.3 | 2.5 | 4.5 | 5.6 (36)

GOALS

South Australia: L. Breuguet, L. Clifton, J. Halfpenny.
Victoria Country:
P. Scott 3, T. Slender, R. Tierney.

ADC BEST

South Australia: Z. Prowse, L. Young, K. Kustermann, Z. Venning, L. Huynh
Victory Country:
P. Scott, A. Smith, N. Dojiok, G. McRae, E. Snell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2021 Academy Watch: SANFL Women’s Round 6

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

GLENELG vs. STURT

By: Phoebe Doyle

Glenelg:

#7 Brooke Tonon

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

#12 Tamsyn Morriss

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

Sturt:

#3 Georgia Swan

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

#19 Alex Ballard

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

#20 Hannah Prenzler

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

#30 Zoe Prowse

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

 

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. NORTH ADELAIDE

By: Peter Williams

Central District:

#28 Lauren Breguet

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

#40 Madison Lane

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

#41 Laitiah Huynh

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

North Adelaide:

#33 Julia Clark

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

#38 Kate Case

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

#43 Amelie Borg

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

#47 Jorja Eldridge

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

 

WWT EAGLES vs. NORWOOD

By: Peter Williams

Eagles:

#8 Charlotte Dolan

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

#25 Jamie Parish

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

Norwood:

#15 Alana Lishmund

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

#22 Jade Halfpenny

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

 

WEST ADELAIDE vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE

By: Michael Alvaro

West Adelaide:

#8 Keeley Kustermann

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

#9 Zoe Venning

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

#30 Lauren Young

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

South Adelaide:

#1 Tahlita Buethke

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

#5 Sarah Wright

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

#36 Gypsy Schirmer

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

#41 Lauren Clifton

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

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

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

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

GOALS:

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

DC BEST:

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

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

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

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

 

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

GOALS:

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

DC BEST:

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

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

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

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

 

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

GOALS:

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

DC BEST:

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

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

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

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

 

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

GOALS:

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

DC BEST:

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

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

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

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

 

Picture credit: Scott Starkey

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 6 preview: Quadruple header at Adelaide Oval

A MASSIVE Super Saturday of action at Adelaide Oval sees four back-to-back games with plenty of footy to watch in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition.

GLENELG vs. STURT
Saturday, April 3 @ 11am
Adelaide Oval

The evenness of the competition sees two bottom four sides battle it out in the opening game, but both are not too far off the top four spots. Glenelg in particular have won two of five games and have gone close on a number of occasions, but are one point outside the finals spot. A win in this match, and a loss to South Adelaide or Woodville-West Torrens Eagles will see the Bays back in the top four. Sturt are on the bottom of the table with one win from five matches, but a victory would draw them level with a number of teams – including Glenelg – and snap the Double Blues’ three-game losing streak.

Glenelg will welcome youngster Kimberley Fry who crossed to the Bays from Central District over the off-season, as well as State Academy members Brooke Tonon and Tamsyn Morriss back into the fray. Sturt has made six massive inclusions, with debutant Abby Pengelly joining captain Maya Rigter, and the quartet of State Academy members in Zoe Prowse, Alex Ballard, Georgia Swan and Hannah Prenzler all back into the side. Sturt had some impressive individual efforts last week, with Jess Good and Alisha Gepp among the top performers, while Glenelg will loo to the likes of Ellie Kellock, Jessica Bates and Madisyn Freeman who are all in good form of late.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, April 3 @ 12:45pm
Adelaide Oval

Fresh off their big win over West Adelaide, Central District takes on North Adelaide who has only been able to collect one point from a possible four in the past two weeks. Their draw with South and prior loss to Norwood will have the Roosters hungry for a win, and keeping in touch with the top of the table Redlegs. The Bulldogs had three close losses in Rounds 2-4 but were back on the board in a big way with a comprehensive win over West Adelaide last week. They have the most potent attack in the competition, averaging 35 points a game with their nearest rivals being West Adelaide (29.4 points per game). A win and results in their favour could see the Bulldogs back inside the top four.

Central District welcomes a trio of youngsters back into the side, with Laitiah Huynh, Madison Lane and Lauren Breguet returning from state duties, with the Dogs yet to confirm any omissions. North Adelaide will bring in Amelie Borg, Kate Case and Jorja Eldridge among their inclusions after their state duties, and hope it to be a catalyst to get the full points on the board this week. The Bulldogs’ forward line has been functioning well, with Katelyn Rosenzweig, Chantel Reynolds, Breguet and Huynh among the more damaging players going around. Shelby Smith is enjoying a ripping season, as is Caitlen Teague. They will need to match it with the likes of Leah Tynan and Jaimi Tabb in midfield, while Kristi Harvey and Talia Radan are two in-form key pillars in the back 50.

WWT EAGLES vs. NORWOOD
Saturday, April 3 @ 2:30pm
Adelaide Oval

A huge top three clash between Woodville-West Torrens Eagles and Norwood is one of the games to watch, with the resurgent Eagles having won three on the trot and bolting into third on the SANFL Women’s table. Norwood has ticked off every box since the Round 1 loss to West Adelaide, winning four on the trot and being the most in-form team of the competition. With both sides on winning runs, it will be a massive clash which could reshape the top three sides.

Woodville-West Torrens will be without Natasha Holmes who is a key out due to injury, but the Eagles do welcome back Jamie Parish and Charlotte Dolan from the State Academy duties, as well as Zahn Anthony, and a potential debutant in Cheryllee Waters. Norwood will also bring in Jade Halfpenny and Alana Lishmund from their South Australian representation, as Elizabeth Drake and Isabel Martin beef up the side, with four players out including ex-Eagle Tesharna Maher, The Redlegs will be warm favourites in this one, with Sophie Armitstead, Leah Cutting and Ella Murison all impressing throughout the season, and Mattea Breed and Morgan Johnston also standouts. For the Eagles, Shineah Goody is one of the talented youngsters to look out for the future, as is Jaida Tabb who is in her second game back, while Astrid Gooley and Kiana Lee are other dangerous forwards who can hit the scoreboard.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, April 3 @ 4:15pm
Adelaide Oval

West Adelaide has been understrength the last couple of weeks, losing the past three games since winning the first two this season. They come up against a Panthers side that has found its grove, collecting five of a possible six points in the past three weeks, almost making it three wins on the trot with victory against North Adelaide, but had to settle for a draw. a win to the Bloods is crucial given they have conceded more points that any other side, but have also scored the second most of any side, as one of the exciting teams running around. South will be hoping to leapfrog a team or two if they can get up in the clash.

West Adelaide have welcomed back a remarkable amount of players, with nine total named as ins for the clash with the Panthers. Along with the State Academy members in Lauren Young, Keeley Kustermann and Zoe Venning, they also regain the services of the experienced Chelsea Biddell, Melanie Elsegood and Madison Newman, and youngster Scarlett Griffiths also returns. For the Panthers, Hannah Munyard joins Tahlita Buethke, Gypsy Schirmer and Lauren Clifton as some of the inclusions for the Panthers as they will have a tough game against a now full-strength Westies outfit. Ailish Considine, Sharnie Whiting and Bec Owen have been among those holding up the fort for the Bloods, while for South, Lisa Whiteley made a strong return last week, and Brianna Wedding and Jaslynne Smith are strong in defence. The midfield combination of Montana McKinnon, Czenya Cavouras and Nicole Campbell is also hard to beat on any given day, making this match a cracker.

Picture credit: On the Ball Media via SANFL

Top Performers: AFLW U19s Championships – South Australia vs. Western Australia

WITH the top talent of South Australia and Western Australia on display at Flinders University Stadium, we cast our eye over some of the top performers on the day from both sides in the opening match of the 2021 AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships. The notes are the opinion of the individual writer.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA:

#1 Laitiah Huynh

Played arguably the best game of her career, not only stepping up to the level, but being one of the best on ground throughout the match. Huynh was involved early and buzzing around half-forward, pushing up the ground and then dropping back, having a number of either scoring chances or creating scoring chances for her teammates. Whilst she did not managed to kick one herself, she was certainly lively, and both her attack on the footy and tackling pressure was really impressive. She showed her experience having played at the championships two years prior, by lifting and winning quite a lot of the ball and shovelling it out to teammates with clean hands, or kicking long down the line. An outstanding performance.

#4 Madison Lane

A rebounding machine in the back half, Lane played a part in bringing the ball down the field in transition and was able to exit the back 50 on a number of occasions. She was good one-on-one, but mostly it was her positioning to read the ball in flight, and she became one of a number of eye-catching defenders to save the day. It was almost an unheralded performance in a real team effort, but Lane was certainly impressive with her drive and strength to come out of defence time and time again.

#6 Gypsy Schirmer

The AFL Women’a Academy member showed a high work rate around the ground to win the ball in all thirds of the ground. She helped out defence early in the game winning a few crucial touches, and then made Western Australia pay for a turnover inside 50 in the second term. Picking the right spot 25m out from goal, Schirmer marked a quick kick from the pocket uncontested and slotted through the home team’s second. Later in the term, Schirmer produced a goal-saving run-down tackle, but unfortunately for her side, the ball was soon turned over and resulted in a goal anyway. Late in the match, Schirmer had the IQ to realise when she was going to receive contact in the back pocket after a mark and earned a 50m penalty for her troubles to chew more time off the clock.

#7 Brooke Tonon

Provided plenty of run and carry around the ground, particularly from defence. She mopped up on the last line a number of times and would thump the ball to safety, and push up to hold a high line when required. In the final term Tonon got on the front foot and was proactive with her positioning to keep pressure on the West Australian defence and get it long to the danger zone inside 50. It was her involvement midway through the term that was her best play though, mopping up again in defence at half-back, she started a play that ended in a goal to Keeley Kustermann in the play of the day.

#9 Tahlita Buethke

Provided some great run on the outside, always looking to break the lines and break down the opposition defensive structures. From early on, Buethke was willing to take risks, and whilst sometimes she would get closed down, she would always look for the chance to give-and-go and move it on quickly in transition. The South Adelaide talent just played a consistent game throughout with deft touches.

#10 Zoe Prowse

Up there with best on ground calculations alongside Laitiah Huynh, Prowse took control in the ruck and gave her midfielders first use. Her experience against quality opposition – including Montana McKinnon a week earlier – showed when she just positioned herself well and was able to negate Sarah Lakay early. Lauren Wakfer gave her some issues early, before Prowse again adapted and was the standout ruck on the ground. Needing to put in a strong performance given South Australia’s lack of ruck options, she certainly did just that and her second efforts and tackling was on display.

#11 Zoe Venning

Might not have had the space that some others that caught the eye did, but one could not underestimate the incredible role she did on the inside. Opposed to AFL Women’s Academy member Courtney Rowley for the most part, Venning cracked in and made sure the smooth mover did not have it all her own way. She would win the ball in close and shovel it out to teammates on the outside, picking the right exit to create a running chain from transition. She almost had a goal assist to her name with a clever outside-of-the-boot kick to the running Georgia Swan. At one stage Venning tried to fend off the bigger Matilda Dyke who brought her down, and then an early flying shot in the final term was intercepted, but her work throughout the game was strong.

#15 Alana Lishmund

Played a metres-gained type role with her kicking, having a number of thumping kicks from midfield and forward, and attacked the ball with gusto. She had a flying shot herself a couple of minutes into the final term, but it went out on the full, though she kept driving it inside 50. Much like Venning she was often in the thick of it, and even if she did not win it, she kept her running and work rate high throughout the match.

#19 Alex Ballard

Played the role of goalkeeper to a tee, dropping back on the last line and clunking no less than three goal-saving marks. Her positioning and footy IQ was quite impressive, and while she was one of a number of defenders to hold up the fort well, she was certainly memorable for her marks, including a couple of Ella Roberts shots, and one off Ashleigh Reidy who was so confident it was through she started celebrating. The Sturt defender was able to really stand up throughout the match and be a reliable interceptor down in the back 50.

#20 Hannah Prenzler

Captained the side and played a really consistent four-quarter game. Her third quarter was particularly memorable with a number of intercept marks and possessions, and aside from one poor kick that skewed off the side of the boot, Prenzler was able to run-and-carry and drive the ball out of defence. She was a steady head and composed throughout, often having to match up on the tricky Ella Roberts, but managed to always put the West Australian under pressure, and worked well in tandem with her fellow defenders to link up with the midfield out of the back 50.

#21 Lauren Clifton

Opened the account for South Australia in the sixth minute off a Georgia Swan pass and converted the goal on the run to get her team up and about. Whilst primarily stationed in the back half of the ground in the SANFL Women’s, Clifton showed off her versatility, and she did well to put the ball inside 50 in the third term for Sarah Branford to ry and run onto. The South Adelaide utility could have had her second goal with a snap in the goalsquare, but the handball from Laitiah Huynh was deemed a throw. Overall played her role as a forward, and sometimes the deepest forward.

#24 Keeley Kustermann

Went into the middle from the first bounce and did not look overawed in there, matching up with some tough competitors. She might not have had the space she is sometimes afforded to running off half-back, but certainly got involved throughout the contest. Kustermann had a flying shot five minutes into the second term but hit the post, then courageously put her body on the line to be crunched by a leading Ella Roberts, but force a spill at half-back. In the final term, Kustermann sealed the match getting on the end of the play of the day, marking well in front of goal and converting the set shot to give her state the breathing space it needed.

#28 Jade Halfpenny

A lively player in the front half of the ground, Halfpenny primarily played forward but did rotate into the midfield, such as after Western Australia’s first goal in the second term. The Norwood tall immediately got the clearance from the stoppage, and then really stepped up in the final few minutes, taking a strong mark, being involved in a one-two and then getting it to Laitiah Huynh in the pocket. The pair almost combined again inside 50 in the third term, but neither could cleanly get boot to ball under the pressure, though Halfpenny did have her chance with a flying shot and subsequent push earning a free kick, but her 25m set shot on a 45-degree angle went through for a behind. A really good performance across the board.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA:

#3 Matilda Dyke

An absolute rock in defence, working in tandem with Beth Schilling to intercept and drive the ball out. She went up to marking contests and provided physical pressure, or picked off intercept marks with ease. When Zoe Venning tried to fend her off, Dyke was having none of it and laid a fierce tackle to win the free kick, and the Claremont defender maintained the standard throughout the match. She intercepted a flying shot from Venning early in the fourth term, and was just getting to the right positions time and time again to impact the play.

#5 Beth Schilling

One of the top West Australians working in tandem with Dyke, Schilling showed off her athleticism in the back 50 both in the air and at ground level. Often going up against stronger key position players in the WAFLW, Schilling was often opposed to smaller, lighter opponents and she was able to capitalise with her athletic gifts. Teaming up well with Matilda Dyke in defence, Schilling provided plenty of rebound, but also defensive pressure such as her outstanding run-down tackle on Sarah Branford in the back pocket which saved a certain goal. She took another great intercept mark in the back pocket in the final term to cap off a great day at the office.

#7 Ella Roberts

The best on ground for the visitors and threatened to kick a bag all day long. Found herself under pressure every time she went near it but kept leading out and clunking grabs throughout the fourth quarter. Came off a little sore in the fourth term, but came back on and kicked the goal of the day with a terrific snap from the third row that bent around and hit a right-angle bounce in the goalsquare to put her side back within a kick. Many might have thought it to be lucky, but the Peel Thunder bottom-ager knew exactly what she was doing with the snap, having had three shots from a similar angle early in the mark, all of which were marked in the goalsquare. The dominant tall up forward, Roberts might have only finished with the one goal, but could have easily have had four if not for the steadfast South Australian defence.

#8 Ashleigh Reidy

Played forward and certainly held her own with some classy movement and attack on goal. She had a great first term getting involved early and then snapped what she through to be a miracle goal from deep in the pocket. Both the hands went up to celebrate with a teammate, but no sooner had they embraced that they realised Alex Ballard had marked on the line. Reidy had another chance in the third term with a great sidestep and kick towards goal but was again picked off on the line, this time by Jamie Parish.

#18 Dana East

Good in close, a lot of the Swan Districts work was not as visible to spectators as it can be in the WAFLW, shovelling the ball out of the congestion with clean, quick handballs. One of Western Australia’s best, East had a big third term to try and drive the ball forward, and she was often spotted running hard on a wing to receive as well. One who kept her work rate high and hands clean, East consolidated her inclusion with a really consistent performance.

#20 Emily Bennett

A real standout for Western Australia, Bennett won plenty of the ball in contested and uncontested situations, but also predominantly as an intercept player. She used her body well in marking contests, and hit the contest hard, playing a four-quarter performance. Her ability to see-ball and get-ball be it in the air or ground level was admirable, and she provided plenty of drive out of defence alongside Beth Schilling and Matilda Dyke. She sometimes pushed up to the wing to hold a high line and would apply a tackle or bump to advantage her team, and the Claremont defender certainly stood up in big moments.

#23 Tara Stribley

The smooth-moving wing was clean and quick on the outside, looking to bring the ball forward on a number of occasions, particularly through the mid-quarters of the game. She had a quick snap two minutes into the third term but missed, and then had a second chance moments later through another snap, but that was rushed over and a free kick given to Tamsyn Morriss for a push in the goalsquare anyway. The highlight of her game was her huge run down the middle in the third term, with the home fans screaming she had run too far, but she showed what she could do with her ducking and weaving. Won a free kick midway through the final term for being thrown off it, and moments later Ella Roberts kicked a remarkable goal.

#24 Jaide Britton

The Peel Thunder talent played a consistent game and led from the front as she captained her state in the match. Britton was often seen coming off half-back or along the wing and just using composure when assessing options. She received the ball off Ella Roberts in the first term and had a flying shot she thought was home, only for it to hit the post on the way through and be declared a behind. Britton just kept her work rate high from the start and was there to aid her defence when required, then work hard in transition to bring the ball forward.

#27 Makaela Tuhakaraina

Started off in a blitz, winning a lot of the ball representing her state in Australian rules football for the first time. The South Fremantle prospect had no fears stepping straight onball, and attacked the ball fiercely in there. She might not have been as prolific as some other midfielders across the game, but if judged by moments, then Tuhakaraina might have had the best of the lot. Winning it at half-back with 30 seconds left, Tuhakaraina sensed the urgency and took it upon herself to charge down the ground, weaving and sidestepping opponents to bomb the ball to half-forward. Whilst two kicks later the siren sounded and the Sandgropers could not put one through, the run had given them a chance and impressed everyone watching on.

#28 Courtney Rowley

The AFL Women’s Academy member played her role on the inside, and was clean and balanced with the ball at ground level, and able to find some space to mark on the outside, or win a free kick. She had the first clearance out to Nyra Anderson who was on the wing, and was really lively throughout the opening term. She used clean skills and good decision making throughout the match, ending up being the only Academy member out there for the visitors with Charlotte Thomas and Amy Franklin not playing. She was one of a number of consistent midfielders through the middle and showed her class on the day.

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)