Tag: kimberley fry

SANFL Women’s Round 6 preview: Sunday clashes ones to watch in huge round of action

NOW the first games have been done and won, the eight South Australian National Football League (SANFL) teams return for Round 2 in what is a blockbuster round of action. Sunday’s games in particular – between West Adelaide and Sturt, and North Adelaide and Glenelg – are ones to watch.

NORWOOD VS. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
Saturday, July 4, 11.50am
Coopers Stadium

Opening up the round is a clash between fourth placed Norwood and sixth placed Woodville-West Torrens Eagles. The Redlegs made their way into fourth win an impressive win over Central District last week, leapfrogging Sturt into a finals position at the midpoint of the season. The Eagles have been close in each match they have played, but still remain with just the one win. A victory and a Sturt loss would see the Eagles move up to fifth on the table, whilst a Norwood win would see them draw level with the Bloods if Sturt can get up, or go a full three points clear inside the top four if as expected, West Adelaide wins against the Double Blues.

In terms of changes, the Redlegs have made just the one confirmed change with Lindsay Bigg the only confirmed out of the side, whilst Elisha Gallagher and Bella Smith return in what will be a good boost for the side. The Eagles have made at least two forced changes, with both Stephanie Walker and Natasha Holmes out of the match through injury. Adding to an extended bench for thew visiting side is Bronwyn Davey, Brooke Mullen, Jaida Tabb and Eli Gianakis all named.

For the Eagles to win, their top notch tackling pressure will need to be on show again, and the inclusion of Renee Forth last week added a touch of class to a fiercely defensive side. Tesharna Maher and Jovanka Zecevic impressed in the first round back after a long lay-off, whilst the inclusion of Tabb – the sister of Adelaide’s Jaimi – will show off some of he future talent on the list. One player who will be looking to have a bigger influence on the contest this week is forward, Kiana Lee who can be really influential on her day.

Norwood just has a lot of good solid talent across the park, with some serious young X-factor such as Matilda Zander and Mattea Breed who have plenty of potential to keep developing their football. Given arguably the league’s best ruckman in Leah Cutting is doing her thing and Najwa Allen and Monique Hollick are back in the side, there is plenty to like about Norwood’s premiership credentials. Smith has been named at centre half-back and will be one to watch, whilst Alison Ferrall proved a handful up forward last week booting three goals, the same as Breed.

Norwood head into this as favourites and should win, but the Eagles always make life difficult for opposition teams with their defensive pressure.

 

SOUTH ADELAIDE VS. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Saturday, July 4, 3.30pm
Flinders University Stadium

Reigning back-to-back champions South Adelaide welcome Central District to Flinders University Stadium in a match the Panthers will be keen to win well. They were pushed all the way by Glenelg last weekend, while Central District had its chances but could not convert enough to really threaten Norwood. Heading into this game, South sit second on the table only behind the top of the table Roosters, whilst the Bulldogs are in last, but a win would see them get off the bottom of the table.

Central has the less complicated changes of the teams, with young talent Kimberley Fry the only confirmed out of the side for tomorrow’s match. Emma Keys, Keely Cannizzaro and Amber James are the three players named in an extended squad. The Panthers have been forced to make five changes with some big names out through injury or work. Czenya Cavouras and Elke Jarvis both have work commitments and will miss the game, while an injured trio in captain Lauren Buchanan, Courtney Barry and Elyse Haylock are all out. Naturally South Adelaide has named seven players as possible replacements, including Emily Brockhurst, Sheena Peters, Brianna Wedding and Lauren Clifton who were all named on the field for the clash.

What makes the Panthers so strong in the depth within the starting line-up and very few weaknesses. Glenelg was able to get on top at times last week, but it took some AFL Women’s talent to break down South Adelaide. Then the likes of Nikki Gore, Hannah Munyard and Jess Kirk all fought back to have important roles through the inside midfield, outside midfield and forward line respectively. Add in the fact that the Panthers won without a huge contribution from star young gun Teah Charlton – who started to get going late in the contest, and there is a reason they have been so successful of late. In the absence of Buchanan, Jaslynne Smith and Samantha Pratt have some big jobs ahead of them.

The Bulldogs were gallant at times last week and never looked completely out of the contest. Katelyn Rosenzweig is always a danger up forward with her strong hands and penetrating kick likely to hit the scoreboard each and every week. She will always attract a crowd too at the marking contest, so if the Bulldogs crumbers can get to work, they can have a bit of freedom knowing their opponents can occasionally try and assist a defender in stopping Rosenzweig. The likes of Alicia Butler and Latiah Huynh were really impressive last week, and have some eye-catching traits. Whilst scoring at times has been an issue for Central, their defence stacks up against some of the best, with Sarah Allan returning to the club for the second half of the season and providing that extra experience alongside Demi Sonneman and another returning player in Gemma Doughty who made the successful return from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury last week.

South Adelaide will be strong favourites for this one given the midfield strength, but with a couple of key players down in the back half, Central has a chance to take advantage of the reshuffling of magnets.

 

WEST ADELAIDE VS. STURT
Sunday, July 5, 11.50am
Hisense Stadium

Of all the clashes, this could be the most exciting. Both teams have an abundance of youth which they are backing in this week and will make for quite the show at Hisense Stadium. Naturally, the third placed West Adelaide will have the upper hand at home, sitting in a good position to pounce if South Adelaide slips up. The Bloods have a good percentage gap on fourth placed Norwood, and after getting the job done against Woodville-West Torrens eagles in a scrap last week, expect the game to open up more this week. Sturt dropped out of the top four and their percentage took a hit with that huge 77-point defeat to North Adelaide, so getting a win here would be important to try and get their form back.

Amelie Finnimore and Nicole Hooper will miss the Bloods clash through injury this week, while Tamika May and Taylor Hand are also listed on the outs. A debutant in Hannah Scholar from Morphettville Park will join four others on an extended bench. Olivia Smith, Abbey Hardwick, Alex Mason, Scarlett Griffiths and Georgie Gray are all in line to return to the team for the clash. Sturt on the other hand has made just the two changes with Ally Ladas out injured, joining Holly Temby as the two confirmed changes. In line to make their debuts for the Double Blues are Olivia McEvoy and Tiah Hough, the latter of whom is a member of the Crows’ Academy. Caroline Burgess and Aajiah Jericho are the other two named in an extended team.

Whilst Sturt might have been overwhelmed last week, there was always a bit to like about the way they move the ball, and they when using their short kicking and hitting up targets it worked, but North Adelaide knew to add pressure to the mix and it was hard to quell. Hannah Prenzler was a standout down back with Maya Rigter throwing herself everywhere through midfield trying everything to get her team over the. Rigter and her co-captain Georgia Bevan are guiding a young team, and Rigter herself is still only 19. Zoe Prowse had a quieter game last week but has the potential to really get going, whilst Alex Ballard had some purple patches in the game.

West Adelaide was able to do enough to shake off a determined Eagles outfit in Round 5, and their two half-backs in AFL Women’s Crows talent Madison Newman and young gun Keeley Kustermann might be the best one-two combination at that position when it comes to running and hitting targets. Having two terrific ball users coming out of defence is crucial to a team’s success and they certainly offer that. With Rachelle Martin and Abbie Ballard leading the charge in midfield, they can get it down to arguably the most damaging forward line as well. Melanie Elsegood as the deep forward alongside AFL Women’s talent in Chelsea Biddell and Stevie-Lee Thompson is a strong mix, whilst Zoe Venning provides that dash between the arcs.

West Adelaide are one of the dark horses this season and should get the job done here, but both teams will score more than they did last week in a free-flowing contest.

 

GLENELG vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Sunday, July 5, 12pm
ACH Group Stadium

If AFL Women’s talent is what you after, then look no further than the final game of the round between the undefeated North Adelaide and the rising Glenelg. On face value the Tigers are seventh on the table and really need to start making a move to have a chance at finals. But with the return of a number of AFL Women’s players – who all had a big impact last week against South – they are ready to rake in the wins. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they have copped the two best sides in the first two weeks back, and this North Adelaide team is coming off a 77-point demolition job of Sturt.

Glenelg will be without Soriah Moon who is a big loss, joining Cass Hartley as the players out of the side from the loss to Sturt. Coming into the team are Molly Affolter, Sheridan Howell, Lauren Bungey and Rachel Aistrope with at least two to make it into the final term. Alex Fitridge is the only out for the Roosters this week, as North Adelaide welcomes back defender Lauren Gauci, as well as adding Kendall Howell, Charlea Taylor and Brianna Arthur to an extended bench.

North have managed to get stronger with the addition of Gauci who provides extra strength to the league’s best backline. Kristi Harvey and Amber Ward have been mainstays in the key posts this year, but bringing in West Coast’s Talia Radan adds another key talent in there, and Gauci will have the freedom to provide some extra run when needed. Through the midfield, Anne Hatchard would have broken all kinds of statistical records last week when she brought her own ball to the game against the Double Blues. She was simply unstoppable and carried on her best and fairest winning from from the Crows. Teaming up with Ashleigh Woodland and Leah Tynan in midfield, and throwing in the speed and class of Katelyn Pope and Hannah Ewings, and the Roosters outfit are premiership favourites for a reason. There are very few, if any weaknesses in the line-up, and it will take a special effort to beat them on any given day.

Glenelg do have some serious talent that can stretch the Roosters however, led by Ebony Marinoff, Eloise Jones and Caitlin Gould. Marinoff was enormous in the first half for the Bays last week, and Jones was just about their best with her strong hands and work in transition up forward. Caitlin Gould could have had a bigger day and might be ruing her missed chances on goal, something she will no doubt fix for this game. Deni Varnhagen provided great speed on the outside, whilst Grace Duffy and Sam Franson also had impressive moments in the loss. The Tigers top-end talent is class and quality, and whilst North Adelaide have the greater depth, the Bays have a lot of strong contributors who work as one unit and know what each other is capable of, and why they pushed the reigning back-to-back premiers for so long last week.

The Roosters are favourites because they have not lost and on paper are the best team in the competition, but they can also not underestimate what Glenelg is capable of on its day, especially with Marinoff and Jones among those running around.

SANFL Women’s review: Round 5 – Panthers, Roosters impress with statement wins

FOOTBALL returned to South Australia over the weekend and some of the state’s best footballers returned to the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition. North Adelaide and South Adelaide further enhanced their premiership credentials, whilst other now top-four sides, West Adelaide and Norwood won their respective matches as well.

CENTRAL DISTRICT 0.0 | 0.3 | 1.4 | 3.6 (24)
NORWOOD 2.3 | 3.6 | 5.8 | 7.10 (52)

GOALS:

Central: Rosenzweig 2, Reynolds.
Norwood: Breed 3, Ferrall 3, Lishmund.

ADC BEST:

Central: K. Rosenzweig, A. Butler, S. Allan D. Sonneman, L. Huynh
Norwood: M. Zander, N. Allen, M. Breed, R. McMahon, A. Ferrall

Three-goal hauls to Mattea Breed and Alison Ferrall has seen Norwood secure a solid 26-point victory over Central District in the first return game of the SANFL Women’s competition. The Redlegs were in control for the most part, particularly after a strong first half, but despite the score, the Bulldogs were matching it with their highly fancied opponent. Central District managed to find its range in the second half when they booted three goals, and whilst the Bulldogs were still outscored, showed some really promising signs.

Najwa Allen returned to the Redlegs for the restarted season after winning a league best and fairest with the club a season earlier. It did not take her long to have an impact on proceedings, teaming up well with fellow ball-winning star Matilda Zander in midfield to find plenty of it early. Along with Rebekka McMahon who was slicing up the opposition defensive zone, the trio were among the best on ground in a big first term. The Redlegs booted 2.3 to 0.0 to head into the first break with a 15-point advantage.

They did not have it all their own way however, with reliable defender Demi Sonneman taking a great one-on-one contested mark in the defensive goal square, and the Bulldogs would have been thrilled to have Gemma Doughty back from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Doughty made a successful return and had remarkably clean hands off the deck for someone who had missed so much football. The two goals in the term went to Ferrall and Alana Lishmund whose majors in the first half of the quarter made it look like it could be a long day for the Bulldogs.

Instead, after that it was largely tight, with the Bulldogs unlucky not to be a lot closer than the 21-point deficit at half-time. They had a number of chances – particularly late – with the ball camped in Central’s forward 50 for the most part of the quarter. Katelyn Rosenzweig was starting to get going with the ball now in her zone, and she had the first chance of the day with a set shot but it fell short. She scored the Bulldogs first score – a behind – a moment later, and that was followed by behinds to Latiah Huynh and Rosenzweig again. Both were within 20m, with Huynh’s set shot just drifting and Rosenzweig’s snap over her head on the wrong side of the post.

In a cruel blow for all their efforts, Central watched as Norwood ran it down the other end, and after a couple of near misses, Ferrall was paid a free kick at the top of the goalsquare as the siren rang out moments later. She converted her second goal easily and the Redlegs were in control despite not having the majority of the play in their forward half.

The third term opened with a flurry as Breed booted her first major after some scrappy play inside 50, turning around, fending off an opponent and putting it through. She almost had a second moments later, but despite it going through, it was brought back due to a free to Doughty. The Northern Territory talent did not have to wait much longer to add another major to her name however, snapping around her body and getting the favourable bounce to clear the defender on the line.

Central refused to give in though, and continued to pepper the goals when given the opportunity. It took until the ninth minute of the third term for Rosenzweig to slot the Bulldogs’ first, and thanks to Central’s defence holding up – namely the work of Sonneman, Kimberley Fry and Shelby Smith – the Bulldogs did not concede another goal. At three quarter time, Breed had created some separation for her side with the two majors and Norwood held a comfortable 28-point lead.

Zander continued to rack up the touches and have a real influence in the early stages of the last term, but she was not the only returning player to have a say, with Doughty producing a massive run-down tackle at half-back to win the ball. She and another inclusion in Sarah Allan were prominent alongside the already reliable defensive unit, but for all their work, it was Breed who capitalised with a third goal following a free kick straight in front.

Alicia Butler was another player who was starting to really influence the contest and a long clearance inside 50 helped Chantelle Reynolds put boot to ball and dribble towards the line – after a quick fumble – but Rosenzweig finished it off with a sliding effort. Norwood responded not long after with Ferrall’s third after plenty of loose Redlegs were running around and a perfect pass from Zander found her teammate at the top of the square. With Leah Cutting also having a big day out in the ruck, the Redlegs were all but home as the time ticked down.

Reynolds got her name in the goalkicking books with a nice conversion after a free kick thanks to perfect kick placement from Huynh, and it was the last major of the day. Both Rosenzweig and Butler had chances in the dying minutes – Butler’s right before the siren – but the pressure, and in Butler’s case an opposition hand out of a stoppage, saw the chances result in behinds. The siren sounded for the Redlegs to win 7.10 (52) to 3.6 (24) and move into the top four.

STURT 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 (6)
NORTH ADELAIDE 4.1 | 8.6 | 11.6 | 12.11 (83)

GOALS: 

Sturt: A. Brown.
North: K. Barltrop 2, M. McKendrick 2, K. Pope 2, B. Perry 2, C. Castle, A. Woodland, H. Ewings, B. Arthur.

ADC BEST:

Sturt: M. Rigter, H. Prenzler, A. Ballard, G. Bevan, A. Brown
North: A. Hatchard, K. Pope, L. Daniel, L. Tynan, H. Ewings

A remarkable run of 23 scoring shots after conceding the first goal of the game saw North Adelaide Roosters send an ominous warning to the rest of the competition. Whilst it was hard to fault the effort and defensive pressure of a young Sturt outfit, the cleanliness and composure of a Roosters outfit, boosted by the inclusions of several AFL Women’s stars, was evident during the massive 77-point victory on Saturday.

The game started with Sturt setting the tone thanks to a huge Maya Rigter run-down tackle on Leah Tynan to win a free at half-back and stop a certain inside 50. Moving it down the ground, a free kick and subsequent 50m penalty moved Arabella Brown from a tight angle 20m out, to point-blank range which she duly converted. The Double Blues were up by a goal, but little did anyone know, that would end up their only score of the game.

From there, North Adelaide took control, with Adelaide best and fairest winner Anne Hatchard suffering leather poisoning, and dominating the contest. No matter what the opposition threw at her, Hatchard moved around the stoppages with grace and continued to find the ball all over the field. The accuracy with the North Adelaide kicks going forawrd was telling, and it benefited full-forward Kelly Barltrop who marked on a lead 30m out and booted the Roosters’ first of the contest seven minutes into the match.

It started a momentum roll-on with Hatchard bursting out of the middle and booting it long which led to a Mollie McKendrick goal. Lauren Daniel joined Hatchard as one of the prime movers, and despite Sturt saving a goal off the boot of Hatchard, the Roosters midfield was starting to swarm, and fellow AFL Women’s talent Britt Perry marked at the top of the goalsquare and put another home. Shortly after, Cristie Castle added her name to the list with a free kick and subsequent goal from 25m out, mostly thanks to the work by Katelyn Pope who used afterburners to blow away any opponent from trying to catch her.

If the danger signs for Sturt were not there before the break, they were shortly after as the first clearance of the second term saw Hatchard burst away, bomb it long and then Barltrop got goalside to soccer through her second. The next clearance saw young gun Hannah Ewings scoop the ball off the deck with remarkable cleanliness to give it by hand to a running Ashleigh Woodland who saluted from outside 50 with the help of a bounce in the square.

Sturt had its chances as well, getting the ball inside 50, but the work of Kristi Harvey and Amber Ward was suffocating any forward moment for the Double Blues. Holly Temby had a brave run into a contest to stop a North Adelaide switch as the Roosters were attacking, but the ladder leaders recovered and soon got it forward where McKendrick won a free out of the stoppage and kicked truly from 40m to see her side’s third in five minutes. By this stage, North was peppering the goals and arguably could have finished with more.

Arabella Prowse was showing some promising signs throughout the games through the ruck for Sturt, but the midfield of the Roosters was just too strong, and when Pope once again put the afterburners on in the 10th minute of the term, there was no stopping her as she slammed another one home and it was party time. To Sturt’s credit, the pressure applied by the likes of Rigter and young defender Hannah Prenzler coming out of the back half was stopping the flood gates opening. Hatchard had a couple of chances herself, as did fellow inclusion, Tayla Gordon whose shot from 35m out straight in front got touched on the line.

Ewings was getting better as the game went on, showing some serious X-factor with her ability to quick turn out of a stoppage and burst away to kick inside 50. She was then on the end of a Hatchard kick to mark 20m out straight in front and slot another Roosters goal. By the end of the term, Brianna Arthur and Pope had both added goals, with Hatchard still being heavily involved in most plays. Sturt also had a number of chances, but a late free kick to Georgia Bevan saw the co-captain opt to hand off the pass with the flying shot falling short and the siren going not long after.

Facing a 66-point deficit at the final break Sturt wanted to come out with fire in the belly in the second half, and Alex Ballard showed serious intent winning a free kick for going in low and hard to grab the ball at ground level. It set the tone for the rest of the quarter as the Double Blues held the Roosters goalless until the last few minutes when Perry converted a great goal. Ballard, Prenzler and Rigter were all strong right until the end, with Prowse again showing great initiative, even if it could be over zealous at times and giving away free kicks.

Whilst the Roosters arguably could have won by more with inaccuracy plaguing them, the midfield was just too deep to beat, and it will be hard to see North Adelaide losing too many games with the inclusions strengthening an already impressive outfit. For Sturt, there were signs of a promising future with some real standouts, but they were just outclassed by the clever zoning of the Roosters.

WEST ADELAIDE 1.1 | 2.1 | 3.2 | 4.3 (27)
WWT EAGLES 0.0 | 1.2 | 1.3 | 1.4 (10) 

GOALS:

West: Z. Venning, S. Thompson, R. Martin, C. Biddell.
WWT: J. Zecevic.

ADC BEST:

West: R. Martin, K. Kustermann, M. Newman, A. Ballard, S. Thompson
WWT: R. Forth, J. Zecevic, T. Maher, G. Smallcombe, A. Blanden

West Adelaide have moved clear in third spot on the SANFL Women’s table with a dour win over Woodville-West Torrens Eagles on Sunday. In what was a low-scoring slog that was predominantly a battle of half-back lines and defensive pressure, the Bloods’ defence was able to hold the Eagles to just one goal from five scoring shots, whilst capitalising on four of seven of their own to win by 17 points.

Rachelle Martin was absolutely sensational for the winners, but she was far from alone, teaming up well with partner-in-crime Abbie Ballard, whilst the defensive work of young gun Keeley Kustermann and the equally slick ball user in Madison Newman ensured the opposition had a tough time scoring. For the the Eagles, it was Renee Forth returning to the competition to be the clear standout in a losing side, and while the Eagles were only five points down at half-time, could not capitalise on their few opportunities after the main break.

The match started with Martin and Ballard immediately having an impact, and Zoe Venning capitalising on the opening goal with a long-range set shot. Forth was working hard back in defence alongside Tesharna Maher, whilst Jovanka Zecevic was having a big say in proceedings early on for the Eagles. The composure of 15-year-old Kustermann to switch at times to open up the opposite side of the ground was impressive. Her quick hands in traffic also stood out in a first term that aside from the goal in the first few minutes, yielded just one behind.

Neither defence refused to give in and clear marks inside 50 were hard to come by. Early in the second it was Ballard who put a perfectly weighted kick into Chelsea Biddell leading out 45m from goal. The pressure from the Eagles ensured that any shot that fell short was rebounded, as Maher showed off second and third efforts to desperately clear the danger zone. The goal drought broke with 2019 AFL Women’s leading goalkicker Stevie-Lee Thompson put one through the big sticks off, whilst her midfield partners were still racking up the touches.

An end-to-end play for the Westies almost resulted in a massive play of the day. It started with Kustermann laying a huge tackle to force her opponent to ground and get a stoppage. Martin won the ball at the stoppage and went for a run around the wing, Zoe Greer received it and put it quickly to Melanie Elsegood‘s advantage who put it deep to Kate Walsh near the square, but the ball slipped through her hands. In typical Eagles fashion, reliable defender Grace Smallcombe wrapped up Walsh to force another stoppage.

A couple of behinds to the Eagles were missed opportunities later in the term, before Zecevic stepped up to pick-pocket her opponent attempting to handball then took a long-range shot which sailed through with just a couple of minutes remaining. The quarter ended with just five points separating the sides and the game well and truly in the balance heading into the second half.

The third term saw Martin pick up where she left off, racking up the ball with ease. Ballard was fierce in the contest and won a free kick for a terrific tackle, whilst Forth was still battling hard coming out of defence and using her skills to advantage. The Bloods were able to use their slick short passing game to advantage and get to half-forward, but the convocation of Eagles ensured that a mark close to goal was incredibly difficult. It took until a free kick to the Bloods and Martin sneaking into a pocket to receive the ball uncontested and slot a major from 20m out to give the home side some breathing room.

One of the plays of the day from Thompson came midway through the quarter when she burst out of the middle, kicked it to half-forward, then followed up with a big tackle to lock the ball up and force a stoppage. With another behind added to the Eagles’ total, they were still down on the scoreboard, but not completely out of it.

The fourth term was the biggest arm-wrestle of the lot, with neither team able to really dent the opposition’s sturdy defence. Kustermann and Newman were class acts at half-back, standing out with their terrific ball use, whilst Martin and Ballard were able to spend time resting forward at intervals. Sensing one goal could just about seal the deal, it took a bit of magic from Biddell, who at a stoppage, gathered, snapped and put it through the middle to all but end the contest.

The Eagles had a chance to add a consolation goal through Amie Blanden who worked her opponent under the ball with great body work, got to the goalsquare, gathered the ball and went to kick it through from point blank range. Unfortunately it hit the side of her boot and cannoned into the post. With just one more behind – to West Adelaide – to end the contest, the Bloods secured an important 17-point win.

GLENELG 2.2 | 4.3 | 5.3 | 5.3 (33)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 1.2 | 3.2 | 4.3 | 7.6 (48)

GOALS:

Glenelg: E. Jones 2, E. Marinoff, S. Wilton, S. Moon.
South: J. Kirk 3, N. Gore, T. Meyer, M. Bennett, T. Charlton.

ADC BEST:

Glenelg: E. Jones, C. Gould, D. Varnhagen, E. Marinoff, S. Moon
South: N. Gore, H. Munyard, J. Kirk, T. Meyer, L. Whiteley

FOUR unanswered goals from South Adelaide to end the contest saw the Panthers get up by 15 points over Glenelg in a highly entertaining contest on Sunday. Both sides welcomed back a host of AFL Women’s talent for the contest, and it lived up to all expectations with the likes of Nikki Gore and Hannah Munyard controlling the Panthers’ midfield up against Ebony Marinoff and Deni Varnhagen, whilst Eloise Jones, Caitlin Gould and Lisa Whiteley were among the top players too.

The stacked midfields were on song from the get-go with Munyard having the first meaningful inside 50 of the game courtesy of a trademark sidestep. Her opposition midfielders in Marinoff and Varnhagen were both racking up the touches through the middle as Marinoff’s tackling pressure and Varnhagen’s outside run were swinging the contest in favour of the Bays. It took a special moment from athletic ruck, Soriah Moon to put the first scoring chain together, as she beat her opponent, turned swiftly and still got her kick away as she was tackled, with Grace Duffy getting the handball off to Jones who snapped around her body.

Czenya Cavouras was working hard in the middle for the Panthers, whilst Gore’s speed and defensive pressure was causing Glenelg headaches, producing a massive run-down tackle to win the ball back. Cheyenne Hammond put on the afterburners for South and it led to Jess Kirk winning a free and kicking the Panthers’ first. In what was a see-sawing contest, debutant Tiger Sarah Wilton got involved with Marinoff by finding her inside 50. The Crows star played on and quickly kicked a goal, but was called back and nailed the set shot anyway.

Wilton herself almost put one through from an impossible angle in the pocket, but it was touched on the line, and with the likes of Lauren Buchanan and Whiteley in defence, South managed to keep possession towards the dying moments. Kirk had a chance for her second marking strongly moments before the siren but uncharacteristically missed the set shot from straight in front for a straight-kick deficit at the first break.

Both teams were needing to start off on the right note and it was no surprise to see Marinoff on the front foot with her pressure forcing an opposition turnover and getting it down by a series of handballs to the debutant Wilton who put it straight through the middle and hand her team a 12-point lead. Young gun Panther, Indy Tahau was matching it with Moon in the ruck as a really entertaining duel, whilst Munyard and Gore were teaming up with great success. It would be Kirk who got the Panthers back on track however, being in the right place at the right time to soccer through a bouncing shot on goal from Tahlia Meyer for Kirk’s second of the day.

If Gore was not already considered one of the best-ons at that stage, she soon was with a remarkable goal that came from great defence. Gore won the ball, was intercepted, but a team defence inside 50 forced a turnover with the ball back to the Crows’ midfielder who kicked a terrific running goal to level the scores once again. In response, Marinoff stood up to mark in the pocket 35m out, but her set shot surprisingly fell short. However a huge contested grab and subsequent goal from Jones in the goalsquare saw the young star boot her second to match Kirk and hand the Tigers another lead.

Moon’s work across the ground – including getting back into defence to take a strong mark led to a scoring opportunity involving Jones, Marinoff and Wilton, ending with Gould who had a chance from 40m out but sprayed the set shot. It was a missed opportunity as the Tigers had one last chance and it was fitting that Gould would again be the recipient from a similar distance. This time it was on target, but it landed on the line and was punched through for a behind.

Leading by seven points, Glenelg was still in control of the game and needed an early response. After eight minutes of wrestling for momentum, it was Glenelg, through Moon, who got the all-important goal. Varnhagen’s work in defence had saved an earlier chance, and with Moon’s ruck work getting the ball to her midfielders’ advantage, she was on the end of one from a Jones’ set shot that fell short. Moon earned a free kick at the top of the goalsquare and popped it through. At that stage, Glenelg led by a game-high 13 points and looked in complete control of the game. Little did anyone know, it would be the Tigers’ last score of the day.

It would not be the last the crowd saw of South’s scoring though, with Meyer curling a set shot around the goal and in to almost immediately respond and put the deficit back to seven points. The atmosphere rose for the Panthers, with Gore and Cavouras burying in through the middle, and Munyard doing well on the outside. Nicole Campbell who had been quiet to that point took a massive courageous grab. Unfortunately for South, Courtney Barry had to be carried off after injuring herself in the final minutes of the game. Whilst the Panthers had the last few attacking forays, a terrific intercept contested grab by Gould in the dying seconds ensured the Bays headed into the final term with a six-point advantage.

The final term belonged to South Adelaide, though not without an early Tigers’ fight. Whilst they might not have seemed switched on immediately from the break – the Panthers only fielded 17 players and had to be told to bring another on – they were certainly switched on once the ball was bounced. A big tackle from another star who had been quiet to that point, Teah Charlton, led to a chance on goal, but it ricocheted into the post. It might have been a behind, but the pressure stakes were up.

South Adelaide were starting to swarm in numbers and Munyard had a terrific run off half-back to hit-up Charlton and she in turn got it in the Kirk direction. Whilst the ambitious tap behind the head hoped to get into her teammates’ advantage, Ellie Kellock was the first to the ball, but the pressure was there from the losing side. Soon, the breakthrough goal came and it was fitting that Kirk won a one-on-one marking contest straight in front and converted her third for South’s first lead of the game.

The duo of Gore and Munyard had gone from incredibly good to match-winners as they firmly took control of the middle in the final term as Marinoff and her side began to tire. The final term seemed to be a quarter for those to stand up and take their chances, with Madison Bennett soccering home a goal to much jubilation from her teammates. Moments later the swarming Panthers put through another as Charlton got on the board in what had been a big last quarter for the teenager.

Glenelg had a couple of chances through the quarter, but Whiteley further enhanced her credentials and match performance with a huge last term in defence, intercepting plenty of forward forays, as the reigning premiers ensured they did not let the lead slip. The last play of the day was a terrific pass from Meyer into Kirk who marked on a long lead and had a set shot after the siren. In a bizarre end to the game, Glenelg punched the ball back into play, but as the players walked away to shake hands, the ball rolled through for a behind, meaning the score counted and the Panthers had won by 15 points.

SANFL Women’s Round 5 preview: AFLW stars return as competition kicks off

FOOTBALL is back in South Australia, but it is not just the return of the beloved game which will excite fans, but the fact the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s teams are going to be even stronger than before with a stack of AFL Women’s talent returning to the competition. We preview a huge round five of action which starts tomorrow morning.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. NORWOOD
Saturday, June 27, 11.50am
X Convenience Oval

The first game off the bat in the return of season 2020 is a clash between two sides that had the one win each prior to the break, but the Bulldogs’ victory came at Norwood’s expense back in Round 1. Since then Central had three consecutive losses, two by heavy margins, whilst the Redlegs won one and drew one to move up to fifth in a remarkably close competition after four rounds. With the draw in-hand, Norwood will move up to fourth on the table if they win and the undefeated North Adelaide take care of Sturt. For the Bulldogs, a win would certainly see them lift off the bottom, with both West Adelaide and South Adelaide starting favourites against their respective opponents, Woodville-West Torrens Eagles and Glenelg. At the very least, Central would leapfrog Norwood with a second win against them in this clash.

Last time these teams clashed, Central won by four points and Katelyn Rosenzweig proved a problem with three majors for the winners, whilst the Bulldogs tackled their way to victory with 56 tackles to 39. Their defence led them to victory with a plus seven differential in rebounds, whilst the Redlegs dominated most other stats, most notably the marks (plus 30) and the hitouts (plus 21). It was the accuracy in front of goal that let the reigning minor premiers down in the clash, and the Bulldogs made the most of their chances.

Fast forward to this match and the teams are welcoming back a couple of AFL Women’s talents. Sarah Allan comes in for the Bulldogs to provide some much needed experience to a team that whilst impressive defensively, is still young, and will aide young gun Kimberley Fry with support back there, freeing up Demi Sonneman to continue her ripping form of the past 18 months. The Redlegs bring back last year’s league best and fairest, Najwa Allen who provides the cream on top of a well rounded team that just had not gelled prior to the season. Her inclusion could spark a real revival for the Redlegs as they eye off yet another finals series.

With the VFL Women’s not going ahead in its traditional form, Matilda Zander remains in South Australia and will have more freedom with Allen back in the side, whilst Monique Hollick – who was yet to play a game this season – and Rhiannon Busch are among those to return to the team. Whilst the COVID-19 period might have been a terrible time for a lot of people, Gemma Doughty returns from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury she sustained last season, something the Bulldogs talent would never have been able to do if the season had run its course as expected.

The Redlegs will start favourites despite the Round 1 loss, with the key to try and limit Rosenzweig’s opportunities. For Central, they have to bring the heat like they did in Round 1, and if they can reduce the impact of Allen in the midfield whilst getting more opportunities up forward, then this is a huge chance to get off the bottom of the table.

STURT vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, June 27, 11.50am
Peter Motley Oval

League disposal records might be in threat when these teams take to the field tomorrow morning with ball magnet Anne Hatchard returning to an already ridiculously stacked Roosters outfit. North Adelaide has some unbelievable top-end experience, and they take on one of the youngest sides going around in Sturt. The Double Blues opted to not bring in any AFL Women’s players for the remainder of the SANFL Women’s season, and will focus on youth to round out 2020 – something that they have an abundance of this year.

When the competition abruptly ended, the Roosters sat on top of the table as the only undefeated team, having knocked off the other top three teams, as well as accounting for both Glenelg and Central District easily in the first two rounds. Sturt on the other hand had started slowly with losses against contenders, West Adelaide and South Adelaide before grinding out wins against Woodville-West Torrens Eagles and Central District.

The Roosters will be incredibly difficult to beat in this side, with Hatchard not being the only AFL Women’s inclusion for the side that was already dominant prior to the boosts. GWS GIANTS’ Britt Perry and West Coast’s Talia Radan both come into the side with Perry being a former Rooster before being drafted last year. She has been named at half-forward, with Radan named in defence alongside Kristi Harvey who was arguably the best state league defender in the competition. With Amber Ward and Lauren Gauci having more freedom to run the ball down the field with Radan’s inclusion, it will be difficult for most sides to try and stop them. In the forward half, Kelly Barltrop will benefit off even better disposal, whilst the likes of Cristie Castle and young star Hannah Ewings will cause havoc inside 50.

Sturt might not have the names fans know now, but they have the names fans will know in the future. Their list is stacked with some of the best young talent in the league, and led by former AFL Women’s talent Georgia Bevan, and a rising star in Maya Rigter. Prior to the break, Hannah Prenzler, Zoe Prowse and Isobel Kuiper were really stamping their authority on the competition, with Alex Ballard another young talent who has shown good signs. They have all the hallmarks of a great future side, but make no mistake this would take a mammoth upset to topple the experience that the other team has. But young teams play with no fear, and Sturt is certainly an exciting team to watch.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. WWT EAGLES
Sunday, June 28, 11.50am
Hisense Stadium

Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, West Adelaide had shown some real promising signs in season 2020, with two wins and a draw in four rounds. They would have been disappointed to let slip against Norwood in Round 4, splitting the points instead of taking all two, but now take on a Woodville-West Torrens outfit who the Bloods should start strong favourites against. With favourable inclusions from an AFL Women’s perspective, West Adelaide has every chance of being a dark horse in the competition and you cannot put a line through them given the talent they have injected into the team.

West Adelaide have wasted no time welcoming back some former Bloods, with Chelsea Biddell having a huge 2019 season which resulted in her being drafted. She lines up back at centre half-forward, whilst bringing in 2019 AFL Women’s leading goalkicker Stevie-Lee Thompson to an already damaging forward line presents nightmares for opposition defences. Madison Newman and Rachelle Martin have also been named – but they played in the Round 4 draw so did not need to be inclusions.

The Eagles have welcomed back two AFL Women’s players in Renee Forth and Jess Sedunary from the Crows and Saints respectively. Forth slots onto a half-forward flank, whilst Sedunary has been named on the bench in a side that has also lost a lot of quality for this game. Both former AFLW talent Rhiannon Metcalfe, and current Crows young gun Jaimi Tabb are unavailable, out amongst seven changes to the Round 4 clash. That match was the club’s first ever win in competition, marking a special moment for the Eagles after so many close misses this season.

The Eagles were the number one tackling team in the competition prior to the lockdown, and if they can return as such then they will make every side earn their goals. They have Tesharna Maher and Kiana Lee as talents up either end, with the latter no doubt benefiting off the strength of the team being bolstered. The Bloods have their fair share of young talent too with first time watches expected to hear the names Zoe Venning and Keeley Kustermann a fair time over the next couple of years, whilst Kasia Culhane knows how to hit the scoreboard.

The combination of Biddell and Melanie Elsegood, along with Culhane, Venning and Thompson all inside 50 makes the West Adelaide forward 50 arguably the best in the competition. The Eagles have a strong defence that is built on pressure, but the back six will certainly get a work out if the Westies fire as expected. The underdogs will need to be at their best in order to stem the flow, and winning the midfield is crucial to getting on top of their opposition.

GLENELG vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Sunday, June 28, 12pm
ACH Group Stadium

The final match of the round pits back-to-back premiers South Adelaide up against a Glenelg side that has struggled in the opening month of the season. The Panthers won three straight to open the season, before falling to the red-hot North Adelaide in the grand final replay back in Round 4. Glenelg managed to get one up over Central District in Round 3 thanks to the inclusion of Caitlin Gould who ran rampant and led her side to a huge win. Gould returns to her side, alongside one of the AFLW’s best players in Ebony Marinoff, but South Adelaide’s inclusions are also very good.

The Panthers welcome back Crows talent Nikki Gore and Western Bulldogs’ midfield Hannah Munyard who both slot into the side alongside other listed players Nicole Campbell and Czenya Cavouras who played in Round 4. They face off against a Tigers side that not only has Gould and Marinoff in the team, but also Deni Varnhagen and Eloise Jones to provide some serious X-factor around the ground. This game is shaping up to be the best of the round with so much top-end quality running around, allowing those who had already impressed prior to the break, to have more freedom in their games.

Last year Marinoff returned to the Tigers outfit in the last few rounds to guide Glenelg to a finals series, and whilst they fell short of the grand final-bound Roosters, she showed just how much of an impact she could have. She has been named in the forward pocket, but expect her to rotate with Jones who has been named onball and could easily kick multiple majors up forward. The Tigers should have no trouble generating opportunities, if the duo can get on top of the highly touted Panthers midfield. That is not to discount the likes of rising star Tessa Kohn and up and comer Sam Franson who were in good form prior to the break.

South Adelaide has won the past two flags for a reason, and whilst it would be understandable for them to drop back a peg after a host of their young guns were drafted last year, the Panthers had other ideas. They matched it with the undefeated Roosters and ticked off every other box after almost slipping up in Round 1 against the Eagles. That seemed to be a wake up call and they never looked back. Aside from their great talents of Gore, Cavouras, Campbell and Munyard through the middle who are proven at AFLW level, they also have two of the state’s brightest prospects. Teah Charlton and Indy Tahau are in the AFL Women’s National Academy, with Charlton the potential first pick for the state this year, whilst Tahau stepped up on the big stage to be best on ground in last year’s grand final. They can similarly not be underestimated by the Tigers.

The match is essentially a battle between the midfields. If the highly touted South Adelaide onball brigade get on top, then the Panthers have enough firepower to put a big score on the board. However if Glenelg can get on top, then watch out because Gould showed what she can do with delivery inside 50, and Marinoff and Jones will certainly offer that.

Draft Central’s 2020 Under 22 SANFL Women’s side

A POPULAR trend in recent years with the AFL has been the traditional 22Under22 team. With so much young talent coming through the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition, Draft Central decided to have a crack at a similar team for the league. The challenge would be based on the 2020 season and the players would be under 22 during the SANFL Women’s season.

From there, we would formulate a squad of 30, from which we decided to include 24 – as we have with our Team of the Week each round – and then have six emergencies not far behind. As one can imagine, this was not an easy task and from the squad of 30, Sturt and South Adelaide had the most with an 11 combined players, though three of those were eventually unlucky emergencies.

All four of West Adelaide’s nominees made the final squad as well as four from the Sturt. South Adelaide, Norwood, Glenelg and North Adelaide had three representatives in the team, while Central District (two) Woodville-West Torrens (one) also had players in the team. Among those that were considered but ineligible were Lucy Armitage, Melanie Elsegood and Demi Sonneman who would all have made the squad, but we kept it to those 21 years and under.

The other additional requirement was for the players not to be tied to an AFL Women’s club (Adelaide), otherwise that would be filled with the predominant players drafted in the last couple of years. So players like Montana McKinnon, Jaimi Tabb and Madison Newman are not included in this side, but rather looking at those yet to be recruited to the elite level.

BACKS:

Hannah Prenzler (Sturt)

Having already racked up 23 games in the SANFL Women’s, the 17-yea-old makes our side after an impressive start to the season. She averaged 10.8 disposals at 79 per cent efficiency, as well as 4.3 marks, 2.0 tackles and 2.3 rebounds per game. In particular her first two games against West Adelaide and South Adelaide caught the eye – understandably because the defence was under more pressure – and she earned a place in the starting side.

Kimberley Fry (Central District)

One of the few you did not even need to look through to consider because Fry is one of the most reliable defenders there is at 18-years-old. Averaging the 10.5 touches, 1.5 marks, 2.5 tackles and 3.3 rebounds, she was one of the first picked in the side given her reliability. In defence that is often tested, you can guarantee the Central Allies’ Under-18 representative will stand up and do her bit each and every week.

Samantha Pratt (South Adelaide)

A fierce tackling machine who’s best game came in South Adelaide’s five-goal win over Norwood in Round 3. She racked up 17 disposals, two marks, eight tackles, two clearances and six rebounds, getting it done across the board on her way to a 10.5-disposal, 2.0-mark, 5.5-tackle and 2.8-rebound average. As one of those reliable young defenders, the 20-year-old earned her place in the side, and her numbers this season are superior to that of her 2019 debut year.

HALF-BACKS:

Jaslynne Smith (South Adelaide)

The competition’s leading rebounder with 20 to her name at an average of five per game, she forced her way into the side with her offensive work out of the back 50. While a number of others in the back six provide that real defensive focus, Smith provides a spark of offensive run, and her ball use from her 11.5 disposals, 2.3 marks and five rebounds per game makes her a must-have in this side, with the 19-year-old slotting in at half-back.

Amber Ward (North Adelaide)

Along with Fry, Ward was the other key defender that there was not too much thought needed to slot in. The 18-year-old has 28 career SANFL Women’s matches under her belt in three seasons thanks to the success of the North Adelaide side, and is one of the veterans of the side in terms of experience rather than age. In season 2020, Ward averaged 12.3 disposals, 2.3 marks, 2.3 tackles and 1.3 rebounds per game and can use the ball well or lock down on an opponent.

Keeley Kustermann (West Adelaide)

The 15-year-old is the youngest player in the side, but one to watch for the future as a deserving starter in the team. Playing for the Bloods in her first senior season, Kustermann went on to rack up 13.3 disposals, 1.8 marks, 1.8 tackles and 3.5 rebounds across her first four games. She was consistent and among the Bloods’ best in each game, with her effort in a win or loss not dipping. With a high disposal efficiency, Kustermann is our sixth starting defender.

CENTRES:

Matilda Zander (Norwood)

At 21-years-old, Zander slots into the side as one of the more experienced players and what a season she had. In 2020 she racked up 18.8 disposals, 4.5 marks, 3.8 tackles and 3.0 inside 50s, whilst being able to win the ball around the stoppages or drift back into defence. Zander is a natural ball magnet and predominantly able to play off a wing or run the ball into attack, she finished with 20 or more disposals twice, and was a shining light in Norwood’s season this year.

Tessa Kohn (Glenelg)

Won a Breakthrough Player Award in Round 4 of the SANFL Women’s season and it is easy to see why playing her best game in a season of impressive performances. While Glenelg’s losses early were disappointing, it was Kohn who in her debut season stepped up to the plate and was among the best trying throughout the four quarters to get the games back on track. She picked up 18 disposals, seven clearances and five tackles in a big game against the Eagles.

Maya Rigter (Sturt)

A no brainer in the midfield with the 19-year-old already a co-captain, and named as captain of this 22 Under 22 side. Despite still only being a teenager, she has a big influence on the midfield, and averaged 13.3 disposals, 2.8 clearances and a league-leading 7.3 tackles per game. Against South Adelaide, Rigter laid a massive 12 tackles, though her consistency of five or more each match shows she brings and equal intensity every week and is a deserving leader by example.

HALF-FORWARDS:

Teah Charlton (South Adelaide)

The top South Australian prospect for 2020 was always another easy fit to slot into the side, and her ability to play midfield or half-forward gives her the flexibility to play off a flank. Charlton is an excitement machine who can fly high for marks or take the game on with her athleticism, and caught the eye as a bottom-ager in the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships last year, Still 17, Charlton averaged 19 disposals, two marks, five tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s per game.

Mattea Breed (Norwood)

Another teenager playing her first season in the SANFL Women’s, Breed deserved a spot in the starting line-up and while the midfield is hard to crack, she is tall enough to play a key position role which she has done at Under 18s level before. She averaged 16.3 disposals, 2.5 marks, 3.0 tackles, 3.8 clearances and 3.5 inside 50s this season, with an eye-catching 21 touches, three marks, five tackles, three clearances and six inside 50s against Eagles, and three contested marks from 17 disposals and five clearances against West Adelaide in the final game.

Ashleigh Woodland (North Adelaide)

One player it was surprising to see is still able to qualify for this list, the 21-year-old has already tasted AFL Women’s action, but managed 24 career games in the red and white of North Adelaide. While she has an impact each week, Woodland’s two-game purple patch in Rounds 2 and 3 saw her average 20.5 disposals, 6.0 marks, 2.5 inside 50s and boot 7.4 in a couple of big best on ground per performances. A player who could step up to the elite level again sooner rather than later.

FORWARDS:

Kiana Lee (Woodville-West Torrens)

The sole starting Woodville-West Torrens member is a goal kicking machine and it was no surprise to see with the rise of the Eagles this season, she was able to impact the scoreboard more frequently than in the past. Still just 18-years-old and as strong as anybody above her head, Lee was one of the premier contested markers this season, taking two per game from her four marks, 10.3 disposals and booting seven goals. Twice in three games she booted three majors leading the way in front of goal.

Katelyn Rosenzweig (Central District)

Like her Central District teammate up the other end, Rosenzweig was another easy player to slot into the side as the dominant teenage goalkicker. Averaging two goals a round, Rosenzweig has converted eight of her team’s nine goals to shoulder the load and be the main target up forward. She is a reliable shot for goal and in Round 1 was unstoppable against Norwood, slotting four majors to be the difference in the narrow win. A player who already has experience training at the elite level.

Zoe Prowse (Sturt)

Capable of playing in a multitude of positions, the 16-year-old had arguably the performance of the season in Round 4 against Central District. She racked up the equivalent of a football triple-double with 23 disposals, 20 hitouts and 10 clearances, while taking four marks, laying three tackles, having two inside 50s and booting a goal out of the ruck. In this team she will rotate through the ruck but provide a target up forward with her athleticism and excitement no doubt something to watch.

RUCKS:

Indy Tahau (South Adelaide)

Another player more than capable of taking a contested mark, the 17-year-old is the fourth South Adelaide player to make the starting squad after an impressive season through the ruck and midfield. She has the attributes to take the ruck contests – averaging 14.5 hitouts in the last two games – but also stay at ground level and rack up the clearances – had seven clearances in the Round 1 win over Eagles. She was a consistent ball winner and impressed with her second efforts.

Rachelle Martin (West Adelaide)

While Martin technically did play an AFL Women’s game this season as an injury replacement player, she is not formally attached to the Crows so therefore eligible to make this side. At 21-years-old, Martin continues to not let her 152cm size stop her as she buries herself under packs and wins a lot of the ball and lays some fierce tackles. One of the competition’s top ball winners, Martin averages 18 disposals, seven tackles and five clearances per game to be in the top few of each of those stats.

Abbie Ballard (West Adelaide)

A top-age player who burst into the season with a league-high 27 disposals and nine clearances to start the year, Ballard has remained ever-dangerous in the midfield. She teamed up well with Martin in the opening four games of the season and while both are smaller players, Ballard can zip around the stoppages and suffer leather poisoning from her ability to win the ball. Like Martin, Ballard’s 18.3 disposals, 4.0 tackles and 4.0 clearances places her in the top few across the board.

INTERCHANGE

Zoe Venning (West Adelaide)

Another one with plenty of time left in her SANFL Women’s career, the 16-year-old earned her place after an impressive four games in just her second season at the level. Establishing herself in the team last year, she stepped it up a notch this year to be one of the top performers for the Bloods, racking up as much as 25 disposals and six marks (two contested) in the loss against North Adelaide, showing she was able to still perform and deliver when under pressure.

Madisyn Freeman (Glenelg)

An 18-year-old who has experience with the Central Allies at the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships, Freeman averaged 11.5 disposals, 2.5 tackles and 3.0 clearances this season, pushing further up the ground than her usual half-back role. Capable of switching between midfield and defence, Freeman would provide the perfect utility to come off the bench in this side and provide some good relief to her teammates.

Bella Smith (Norwood)

Another versatile utility, the 18-year-old can play through the ruck, but predominantly plays as a key position player at either end. In her second season, the 182cm tall was able to take a contested mark each game, but it was her work at ground level – where she averaged three tackles per match that sets her aside from other talls. She clunked 3.3 marks and had 3.3 inside 50s from eight disposals, using the ball well to put it to the advantage of her teammates inside 50.

Hannah Ewings (North Adelaide)

The Roosters young gun picked up a Breakthrough Player Award on debut against Glenelg, then went to another level against Central District a week later. Averaging 14.5 disposals, 4.5 marks and 5.5 inside 50s in her first two games, Ewings’ upside is evident. Having only turned 16 last month, she still has a couple of years left in the system and is the second youngest in the side. One to watch next season, and is not afraid to tackle as shown by her eight-tackle game against the Bloods in Round 3.

Sam Franson (Glenelg)

At 20-years-old, the tenacious forward earns a spot on this list. Franson becomes the only player in the side to not play every game (three), but her tackling pressure across the three games regardless of how she performed offensively, was what makes her a natural inclusion. She laid at least six tackles in each match, and while she hit the scoreboard more often last season, pushed up the ground and provided relief for her teammates going forward.

Isobel Kuiper (Sturt)

Rounding out our 24-player squad is Kuiper who is more than capable of playing a number of roles. At 171cm, she is able to wrap up opponents, averaging more than seven tackles a game across her last three matches, while finding double-figure disposals in each game. Her best game came in Round 3 against the Eagles where she racked up 18 disposals, five marks, six tackles, four clearances and two inside 50s to keep the ball moving in transition as well as she did stopping opposition players in their tracks.

 

DRAFT CENTRAL’S 2020 SANFLW UNDER 22 SIDE:

B: Hannah Prenzler (ST) – Kimberley Fry (CD) – Samantha Pratt (SA)
HB: Jaslynne Smith (SA) – Amber Ward (NA) – Keeley Kustermann (WA)
C: Matilda Zander (NW) – Tessa Kohn (GL) – Maya Rigter (ST) (c)
HF: Teah Charlton (SA) – Mattea Breed (NW) – Ashleigh Woodland (NA)
F: Kiana Lee (WWT) – Katelyn Rosenzweig (CD) – Zoe Prowse (ST)
R: Indy Tahau (SA) – Rachelle Martin (WA) – Abbie Ballard (WA)
INT: Zoe Venning (WA) – Madisyn Freeman (GL) – Bella Smith (NW) – Hannah Ewings (NA) – Sam Franson (GL) – Isobel Kuiper (ST)

SQUAD:

The remaining six players who made the 30-player squad were Sturt duo, Alex Ballard and Georgia Swan, Woodville-West Torrens duo Teagan Usher and Jovanka Zecevic, South Adelaide’s Madison Bennett and North Adelaide’s Jade Halfpenny.

2020 SANFL Women’s team summaries: Central District

agaiWITH no football on given the current COVID-19 global pandemic, the Draft Central team takes a look at where the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s left off, and will examine each of the eight teams from reverse ladder order. Today’s team summary begins with Central District.

RECORD: 8th (1-3)

RESULTS:

R1: defeated Norwood by 4 points
R2: lost to North Adelaide by 54 points
R3: lost to Glenelg by 50 points
R4: lost to Sturt by 21 points

The 2020 season started on a high for the Bulldogs, getting an early win against 2019 minor premiers Norwood after managing only two last season. With the Redlegs needing time to gel, the Bulldogs took full advantage and Katelyn Rosenzweig led the way with four goals to steer her side to victory by four points. It was downhill from there unfortunately for Central as it had back-to-back 50-plus point losses against premiership favourite North Adelaide, and a Caitlin Gould-inspired Glenelg outfit. It was a much closer contest against Sturt in the final round, but the Bulldogs could not quite get the chocolates.

THE STAR:

Katelyn Rosenzweig (8.0 disposals, 3.0 marks, 3.0 tackles, 1.3 inside 50s, 8 goals)

The clear shining light for the Bulldogs up forward, Rosenzweig was unstoppable in full flight and it took high quality defenders to try and restrict the teenager from scoring. She booted a goal in every game, including four in the first round in the win against Norwood, and became a barometer up forward. Unfortunately there was not much support around her as she finished the four-game season with eight of the club’s nine goals. A talent who used her AFL Women’s experience with the Crows last season to stamp her authority on the competition early.

THE ROCK IN DEFENCE:

Demi Sonneman (12.0 disposals, 1.3 marks, 1.3 tackles, 4.5 rebounds, 90% disposal efficiency)

With her team often under siege in the back half, Sonneman has stood tall each game and provided good support for her teammates. Looking a just the first three rounds, Sonneman averaged 14.6 disposals and 5.0 rebounds and was constantly driving the ball out of the back 50. Her ball use was sublime, running at an elite 90 per cent efficiency, and she was able to run the ball well using composure beyond her years at just 22-years-old. It is hardly anything new for Sonneman, who took out the Bulldogs’ 2019 Best and Fairest award in the club’s inaugural season.

THE MIDFIELD BULL:

Shelby Smith (14.8 disposals, 3.0 marks, 5.3 tackles, 3.5 clearances, 2.5 inside 50s, 1.5 rebounds)

The most consistent player across the four rounds has to be Smith, who, in her first full season at SANFL Women’s level has not looked out of place. She racked up 20 touches, three marks, three tackles, five clearances, two inside 50s and three rebounds in the Bulldogs’ victory over Norwood and has not dipped below 10 touches since. In particularly her clearance work and fierce attack on the ball – she laid a massive 10 tackles in the loss to Sturt in Round 4 – are highlights of her game. If the Best and Fairest was held today, Smith would have to be favourite for pure consistency.

THE YOUNG GUN:

Kimberley Fry (10.5 disposals, 1.5 marks, 2.5 tackles, 3.3 rebounds)

The talented 18-year-old has been a regular fixture in the defensive 50 and had been a key player in driving the ball out of trouble. She represented the Central Allies at the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships last year, and it therefore gave her confidence for a promising start to the 2020 SANFL Women’s season. Another really consistent player this year, she has been one of the top five for the Bulldogs most weeks and one who takes on more experienced opponents regularly.

THE MISSING STAR:

Gemma Doughty (8.1 disposals, 1.5 marks, 4.9 tackles, 1.1 clearances, 3.6 rebounds in 2019)

Every side has injuries and unavailabilities, but the loss of Doughty would be one unavailability that would sting for the Bulldogs. Not a huge ball winner, the club’s co vice-captain was a reliable source in defence before suffering an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury last season in the team’s Round 8 loss to West Adelaide. Take out that game from her stats and Doughty averaged 9.2 disposals and 4.1 rebounds per game, providing extra composure and natural leadership in the back half.

THE TACKLING TEEN:

Lauren Breguet (9.0 disposals, 1.0 marks, 6.0 tackles, 2.5 clearances, 1.0 rebounds)

Central may have unearthed a player to watch for the future by blooding 16-year-old Breguet in Round 3 and then she retained her spot for the Round 4 clash. It is disappointing the season has not continued yet because her improvement from Round 3 to 4 was clearly noticeable, picking up double the disposals, three more clearances and two more tackles on her way to 12 touches, seven tackles and four clearances. With her attack on the ball, expect Breguet to develop into an inside midfielder for the Bulldogs in time.

SUMMARY:

Central might have finished the season on the bottom after four rounds, but the Bulldogs showed plenty of signs during the 2020 season that they will be one to watch for the future. The win over Norwood was huge, while it is hard to see many teams toppling the Roosters anyway. They were not one of the contenders at the start of the season, but the Bulldogs apply fierce defensive pressure and make their opposition earn it. Realistically all they need is an extra couple of scoring options up forward to take the load off Rosenzweig as the defence and midfield have some developing talents.

2020 SANFL Women’s season summary: Roosters were undefeated as every side tasted victory

WITH the COVID-19 global pandemic impacting sports across the world, the SANFL Women’s competition abruptly came to a halt after four rounds. While it is yet to be publicly confirmed if and when the season will be completed, Draft Central will take a look back at the opening four rounds, how they went down and where each team sat. From tomorrow, we will be reviewing each of the SANFL Women’s sides, starting with Central District and working our way up the ladder over the next two weeks.

Round 1

The opening round of the season signalled just how far teams could improve in 12 months with one of last year’s inaugural sides, Central District upsetting the 2019 minor premiers, Norwood by four points. The Bulldogs trailed by a point at the final break and indeed at each break, but booted two goals to one in the final term to win by four points. Katelyn Rosenzweig booted four goals in a stunning effort, as Shelby Smith topped the disposals with 20, as well as five clearances. Matilda Zander picked up 20 herself in a losing side for Norwood, while Alison Ferrall had six inside 50s from 16 disposals.

In what was almost a huge upset, Woodville-West Torrens Eagles pushed South Adelaide all the way before falling short by four points. Montana McKinnon was electric for the Panthers with 20 hitouts to fo with 17 disposals, seven marks (five contested), two tackles, four clearances, six inside 50s and two rebounds, while Czenya Cavouras and Indy Tahau combined for 35 touches and 13 clearances. For the Eagles, Jaimi Tabb was fierce across the ground with 12 disposals, seven tackles and three rebounds, while Allison Evans had a team-high 15 touches, three marks, nine tackles and three rebounds.

Meanwhile the Roosters had a comfortable 26-point win over Glenelg as Cristie Castle had 16 touches, six marks – three contested, five clearances, four inside 50s and a goal, while Kristi Harvey was a rock at full-back with five rebounds. Glenelg young guns Madisyn Freeman and Tessa Kohn were strong in midfield, combining for 26 disposals and four clearances doing all they could in a losing effort.

In the other game, West Adelaide had an imposing 21-point victory over Sturt, holding the Double Blues goalless in the opening three terms. Abbie Ballard suffered leather poisoning with 27 touches, five marks, nine clearances and three inside 50s, teaming up with Rachelle Martin (15 disposals, 11 tackles, five clearances and two inside 50s in midfield). Co-captains Georgia Bevan and Maya Rigter did their best despite the defeat, combining for 37 disposals, 12 tackles and five clearances.

Round 2

A couple of teams were sent crashing back to earth in Round 2, with North Adelaide flexing its muscles with a massive nine-goal win over Central District. Ashleigh Woodland had a best on ground performance for the Roosters, booting four goals from 20 touches, five marks and three inside 50s, while Round 1 Breakthrough Player Hannah Ewings had nine inside 50s and a goal from 17 touches. There were plenty of contributors though, as Lauren Daniel and Castle both had more than 20 touches and booted a goal each. For the Bulldogs, Demi Sonneman had 12 disposals and three rebounds, while Danielle Stewart worked hard in midfield for 12 touches and five clearances.

West Adelaide also had a big win, defeating Glenelg by 40 points when the two clashed. Martin had a game-high 21 disposals, five clearances and four inside 50s, while Zoe Greer (18 disposals, eight clearances) and Emma Smith (15 disposals, 10 tackles) were also impressive in the win. Kohn was strong once again in midfield with a team-high four clearances for the Tigers, while Chelsea Packer racked up 17 disposals, six tackles and three rebounds in the loss.

South Adelaide picked up an easy win to match the other two sides with a 43-9 triumph over Sturt. Teah Charlton looked impressive with 24 touches, three marks, six tackles, four clearances and five inside 50s, while Courtney Barry (22 disposals, nine clearances), McKinnon (15 touches, 17 hitouts and six inside 50s) and Jess Kirk (three goals) were also outstanding in victory. Bevan was consistent once again with 19 disposals and 10 tackles as Rigter picked up 12 and 12, while Hannah Prenzler impressed in defence with 15 touches, six marks and four rebounds under pressure.

In the only tight game of the round, Norwood came from behind to post a victory applying more pain to the Eagles with a solitary one-point win. Jo Hill and Kiana Lee booted three majors for their respective sides, as Mattea Breed stood out for the Redlegs with 21 touches, three marks, five tackles, four clearances and six inside 50s. Leah Cutting was also strong in the ruck, while Zander continued her strong form around the ground.For the Eagles, Tabb had another impressive game with 16 disposals, 10 tackles and six inside 50s, while Stephanie Walker (13 disposals, six tackles and four inside 50s) and Tesharna Maher (12 disposals, four rebounds) were also impressive.

Round 3

The Roosters handed West Adelaide its first loss of the season with an impressive 21-point victory to signal their premiership aspirations. Woodland continued her amazing fortnight with 22 touches, seven marks, three clearances and three goals, while Leah Tynan (18 disposals, six tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s) and Katelyn Pope (15 disposals, eight inside 50s) were among a host of Roosters who shone in the big win. Zoe Venning had a massive game for the losing side with 28 touches, six marks (two contested), four clearances, two inside 50s and three rebounds, while Keely Kustermann was electric in defence with 13 touches and seven rebounds, as Ballard and Martin worked hard in midfield.

South Adelaide set up a huge top of the table clash in Round 4 after sending home Norwood with a five-goal win. Charlton again racked up the ball with 27 touches, seven tackles and five inside 50s, while Tahlia Meyer (22 disposals, three tackles, four inside 50s and a goal) and Samantha Pratt (18 disposals, eight tackles and six rebounds) were also among the top players on the ground. For the Redlegs, Jade Halfpenny managed a team-high 19 disposals, while Zander (18 touches, nine marks – four contested – three tackles and four inside 50s) and Cutting (11 disposals, seven tackles, 19 hitouts and seven inside 50s) were strong.

In the other two games, the victors won their first games of the season with Sturt getting up in an eight-point win over the unlucky Eagles. Bevan had 19 touches, six tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s in the win, while Isobel Kuiper (18 disposals, five marks, six tackles, five clearances and two rebounds) and Zoe Prowse (14 disposals, three marks, 16 hitouts, four clearances and three inside 50s were among the best. For the Eagles, Walker had a team-high 17 disposals, nine tackles and three clearances, while Maher (12 disposals, four rebounds) and Ashlee Reid (11 disposals, five rebounds) were desperate in the back half.

Finally it was not as close in the other contest as a returning Caitlin Gould dominated the match for Glenelg to help her side run away with a 50-point victory over Central District. Gould booted 4.4 from 13 disposals, six marks – two contested – four tackles, 18 hitouts, four clearances and two inside 50s to be the clear best on ground. Lucy Armitage provided great support with a goal from 13 touches, seven tackles and four inside 50s, while Kohn had another five clearances to go with 13 disposals, five tackles and three inside 50s.For the Bulldogs, Sonneman had 19 disposals and six rebounds in another consistent effort, while Smith (14 disposals, four marks, four tackles, four clearances and four inside 50s) and Kimberley Fry (11 disposals, four rebounds) tried hard.

Round 4

In the final completed round, North Adelaide won a top of the table thriller against South Adelaide to finish the halted season on top. Lauren Gauci helped herself to 19 touches, four tackles and three rebounds, as Daniel (18 disposals, four marks, three tackles, three clearances and three rebounds), Pope (17 touches, four tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and four rebounds) and Harvey (15 disposals, eight marks – two contested – six tackles and eight rebounds) all stood out working hard defensively and finding plenty of the ball. Courtney Barry (23 disposals, five tackles, eight clearances and three inside 50s) and Cavouras (21 disposals, 12 tackles, seven clearances, five inside 50s and a goal) were dominant in midfield, while Nicole Campbell helped herself to 23 touches, nine tackles, three clearances and five inside 50s.

The round also provided the season’s first draw with West Adelaide and Norwood splitting the points. Martin (21 disposals, nine tackles and five clearances) was the dominant midfielder for the bloods as Madison Newman returned from the AFL Women’s to have 18 disposals, four marks, four inside 50s and four rebounds. Kasia Culhane (15 disposals, five inside 50s and a goal) and Rachael Killian (17 disposals, five inside 50s) were other crucial inclusions in the 23-all draw. Zander was the highest disposal winner on the ground with 22 touches for the Redlegs, while Breed (17 disposals, four marks – three contested – five clearances, three rebounds and a goal) and Cutting (15 disposals, 22 hitouts, four marks, six tackles and four inside 50s) also impressed.

In another first, Woodville-West Torrens ensured all teams had a win on the board with an impressive 25-point victory over Glenelg. It was the Eagles’ first win in their history and they made it count with Lee and Nicole Collie both snagging three goals. Rhiannon Metcalfe returned to the side after a long-term injury with 16 disposals, 26 hitouts, four clearances and four inside 50s, while Chloe Forby was busy across the ground with 11 disposals, seven tackles, five clearances and five inside 50s. For the Tigers, Kohn won the Breakthrough Player Award for another big effort, picking up 18 touches, five tackles, seven clearances and three inside 50s, while Armitage was once again strong in midfield with 13 disposals, 10 tackles and seven clearances.

Sturt went back-to-back in its season with an 11-point win over Central District, handing the Bulldogs their third consecutive loss. Prowse was the standout on the ground with a ridiculous 23 disposals, four marks, three tackles, 20 hitouts, 10 clearances and a goal on the day. Bevan was impressive again with 14 touches, three tackles and four clearances, while Jo-Anna Baltais had 10 touches and four rebounds. Smith had a team-high 15 disposals and 10 tackles, as well as three clearances and four inside 50s, while Rosenzweig booted both goals from 13 disposals and four marks – three contested.

Summary

The season ended with North Adelaide on top of the table as the only undefeated side, two points clear of South Adelaide, who were a point ahead of West Adelaide in third. Sturt finished with a 50 per cent win-loss ratio thanks to back-to-back wins in Rounds 3 and 4, while Norwood was a point ahead of the bottom three thanks to the draw with the Bloods. The bottom three stand as Woodville-West Torrens, Glenelg and Central District after each side had wins in Rounds 4, 3 and 1 respectively, but lost their other three contests.

SANFL Women’s Round 4 preview: Top of the table clash beckons

AFTER the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s players enjoyed a long weekend off, they return to action tonight and tomorrow night with a couple of double headers played at X Convenience Oval and Flinders University Stadium. The final game of the round is predicted to be the best of the lot with the top two sides, South Adelaide and North Adelaide doing battle, whilst West Adelaide looks to keep breathing space inside the top three when the Bloods take on fifth placed Norwood. In the games tonight, Woodville-West Torrens hopes to open its account against fourth placed Glenelg who found form last round, whilst one of Central District or Sturt will grab their second win of the season in the other game.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS vs. GLENELG
Friday, March 13, 6.30pm
X Convenience Oval

Woodville-West Torrens is still waiting for its maiden SANFL Women’s competition win after pushing reigning premiers, South Adelaide all the way in Round 1, almost having it against Norwood in Round 2, and then getting narrowly beaten by Sturt in Round 3. For Glenelg, its season did not look great early, going down to North Adelaide in the opening round by 24 points, then getting smashed by West Adelaide to the tune of 40 points in the second week. Last week the Tigers turned it around with a smashing of their own to gain back some vital percentage points thanks to a 50-point win over Central District. The win catapulted last year’s fourth placed team into that position and put the Tigers’ season back on track. Now they take on a side that has been so good for long stints of games, but just failed to close it out when it counts.

The Eagles are renowned as the competition’s premier tackling team. Whilst it does mean that often they are second to the ball – ranked seventh for disposals and fifth for disposal differential, they are miles ahead of any other team when it comes to defensive pressure. The Eagles have laid a whopping 237 tackles in just three games – 51 more than their nearest rival. They have a plus 69 in the statistic, and that is an area that Glenelg will have to be wary of, though the Tigers also rank strongly with a plus 26 (second) and 182 total for third overall.

Glenelg’s strength comes in its ruck craft with a competition high 90 and plus 44 in hitouts and hitouts differential respectively. The Eagles have a struggled a tad in that area, ranked sixth for differential, whilst both teams have similar clearance numbers. Often the Eagles defence has to stand up under immense pressure with a minus 30 in inside 50s, ranked seventh in the comp, though Glenelg is only marginally better ranked fifth with a plus seven. Despite losing two games, Glenelg’s rebounding numbers are the equal worst in the comp at 46, with a seventh rank of differential at minute 10. The Eagles are the top side in both areas, with 84 and plus 26 respectively.

Both sides have been forced to make a number of changes to the Round 3 line-ups, with Caitlin Gould the huge out from the Tigers as she was recalled for Adelaide AFL Women’s duty. Along with Chelsea Packer and Sam Franson who are both injured, the Tigers are understrength for the clash, and are missing a number of quality players from the 22. To try and fill the quality lost in the side are Molly Althouse, Molly Affolter and Tasja Batzavalis, with Althouse not playing since Round 1, and the other two recalled after missing Round 2. A player who has been in some ripping form this year is Tessa Kohn, who will look to control the midfield, averaging 12 disposals, 4.7 tackles, 4.3 clearances and 2.3 inside 50s so far this season on the inside. Alongside her is the tackling machine in Lucy Armitage who has laid a whopping 7.3 tackles to go with her 9.3 disposals (86 per cent efficiency). The Tigers coaching staff have also shuffled the magnets with midfielder-defender, Madisyn Freeman named in the forward pocket to try and potentially fill the void left by Franson.

The home team has also been forced to make a number of changes with Georgia Taylor missing through a knee injury and Mikayla Cavallaro suffering concussion, whilst three other changes have been made. Jaida Tabb – sister of Eagles and Adelaide AFL Women’s Jaimi is set to make her debut after just missing out last week, whilst Charlotte Dolan achieves the same milestone in the game. A crucial recall is Adelaide’s Rhiannon Metcalfe who will proved an important presence in the ruck against a Tigers outfit renowned for its stoppage work. Jaimi Tabb (12.3 disposals, 6.7 tackles, 6.7 tackles and 1.0 goals) has been thrown into the midfield after three goals playing out of full-forward last week, joined in there by fellow teenager, Teagan Usher (7.0 disposals, 4.3 tackles, 2.3 clearances). With Tesharna Maher (11.3 disposals, 4.7 rebounds) in defence and Kiana Lee (9.7 disposals, 3.7 marks and 1.3 goals) up in attack, the Eagles’ youth is what drives the team each week and sooner or later the scales will tip and they will close out a game.

Based on what we will witness, it will be a fierce tackling game with two sides who are not renowned for getting a heap of ball inside 50, but Glenelg will need to make the most of its opportunities if it is to capitalise on its ruck dominance. The Eagles’ defence and defensive pressure are rated the best in the league for a reason, and you cannot fault them in that regard. Woodville-West Torrens players just need to hold their nerves during crucial moments, because they could well have been 2-1 or even 3-0 to start the season, though you feel a win is not too far away.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. STURT
Friday, March 13, 8.15pm
X Convenience Oval

The second game of tonight’s double header pits home side, Central District up against Sturt in a battle of seventh against sixth respectively. The Bulldogs started the season with a groundbreaking four-point win over last year’s minor premiers Norwood for the first time. Since then though, they lost to North Adelaide by 54 points, and Glenelg by 50 in what has been a rough couple of weeks in Rounds 2 and 3. They have had a week off to reassess and this game could be a real chance for the Bulldogs to get back on the winners board with Sturt having a similar season, but in reverse. The Double Blues finally grinded out a win by eight points over a plucky Woodville-West Torrens outfit last week, which came after back-to-back losses of 21 (West Adelaide) and 34 points (South Adelaide), but more concerning was the fact the Double Blues had only kicked 3.6 in those games combined. They turned that around last week with 5.6 in the game, and will be hoping to take advantage in this contest. Central District has only scored 2.5 combined in the past two weeks themselves, so the Bulldogs might look to a similar inspiration to bounce back with some more scoring.

Central District’s defence is ranked second in the competition, with 75 total rebounds, and a differential of plus 23, just three behind the leaders in that stat, Woodville-West Torrens. Whilst it might seem obvious the bottom two sides have the highest differential (with sixth placed Sturt third but a bit behind with plus three), they have managed to rebound 76 per cent of the opposition’s inside 50s. The Bulldogs are not a high possession side though, ranked eighth in total disposals and differential, kicking and handballing differentials, clearances, and hitouts and inside 50s total and differential. But it is hard to read into that too early in the season, though they won in Round 1 with these stats in the red. The Bulldogs are a kick-first side with a 3.26 ratio between kicks to handballs (more than three kicks to every handball), whilst their opposition has run at a ratio of 2.1. Their defence is their strength, so that is where they can look to rebound from and counter against Sturt in this game.

The Double Blues have a few more areas where they lead the league, with marks differential (plus 67) and total hitouts (80), which shows that they like to get first hands on it and also play more of a simplified game by hitting targets more so than running and gunning it. Their 2.4 kick-to-handball ratio is higher than the league average, but despite their hitouts dominance, they have not been able to translate that into clearance numbers, ranked eighth in the league with a differential of minus 27. They also only have one more inside 50 than their opponent coming into this game, though with 28 more on differentials. Their matches so far have largely been played between the arcs compared to the Bulldogs, with 131 times going inside 50 at either end of the ground compared to Central District’s 197. They win a bit more of the ball, but again are ranked seventh for disposal differential, so these are two sides that are not huge possession sides, but try and make the most of their opportunities going forward.

With the return of the rebranded National Basketball League (NBL)1 Central, Sturt will be without ruck Stephanie Ratliff, whilst Jaimee Wittervan will play her other sport of touch football this weekend. Lane Trenorden is the other forced out for the Double Blues, missing due to illness, whilst six players have been named in an extended interchange situation. Olivia McEvoy, Kiera Mueller and Louise Firth could make their debuts in the match, while Hannah Dreckow and Cherie Bamford join Elsie Dawes as other ins for the side. The strength of the Double Blues was their hitouts, though it is hard to deny the impact of co-captains, Georgia Bevan and Maya Rigter this season. Bevan has averaged a team-high 19.3 disposals, 2.7 marks, 7.3 tackles, 2.7 clearances, 2.3 inside 50s and 2.3 rebounds, while Rigter has put up numbers of 14.7 disposals, 4.0 marks, 8.0 tackles and 2.3 clearances. Right alongside them in the best and fairest contention would have to be 17-year-old Hannah Prenzler who has been a rock in defence, averaging 12.3 disposals (at 81 per cent efficiency), 5.7 marks, 2.3 tackles and 2.3 rebounds from her three games this season. Fellow youngster, Zoe Prowse might have a bigger role in the ruck now Ratliff is out of the side, averaging 10.7 disposals, 2.7 marks and 10.3 hitouts per game thus far.

Central is lucky enough to not have to make any forced changes, instead adding four players to its side with an extended bench ahead of tonight’s big clash. Keely Cannizzaro returns after a couple of weeks out and slots straight into centre half-back, while Ella Mickan (wing), Tess Gerhardy (back pocket) and Hannah Pavlovich (interchange) are the others to come into the team. The focal point up forward is undoubtedly Katelyn Rosenzweig who after booting four goals a game in the win over Norwood, has only managed the two since. She has booted six of the Bulldogs’ seven goals in season 2020, so the home side must find more options to goal if they are to be a threat of kicking a winning score. With Sturt having some strong defenders, the likes of Shannon Murphy (full-forward) and Georgia Madigan (forward pocket) could be targets to add scoreboard pressure. Demi Sonneman (14.7 disposals, 5.0 rebounds) is enjoying a really strong season in the back 50, teaming up well with Kimberley Fry (10 disposals, 3.7 rebounds) and making it difficult for opposition teams to control the airways. Through the midfield, Shelby Smith (14.7 disposals, 43.7 marks, 3.7 clearances, 3.7 tackles, 2.0 inside 50s and 2.0 rebounds) is the one to watch out for as she has been finding her fair share of the ball for the Bulldogs on the inside.

The Bulldogs have put out a really stable side for the next round match, not panicking with changes and backing in their squad. The Double Blues have lost a number of players through various circumstances and that could assist the Bulldogs in bouncing back with a win. In saying that, last round Sturt looked very impressive in its victory over Woodville-West Torrens and if it can replicate its form, then the Double Blues deserve favouritism. With more avenues to goal, the Bulldogs will be a bigger threat and if they can execute that, then watch out.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. NORWOOD
Saturday, March 14, 5.30pm
Flinders University Stadium

Opening up a massive double header at Flinders University Stadium which features four of the top five teams is a clash between third and fifth on the SANFL Women’s ladder. West Adelaide is coming off its first loss of the season, going down to North Adelaide by 21 points last week after accounting for Glenelg (40 points) the week before, and Sturt (21) in Round 1. They head into this match hoping to bounce back, and remain a win clear of the Redlegs inside the top three. Norwood started its season off with a four-point win over Central District in Round 1, before bouncing back with a thrilling last-minute win over Woodville West Torrens by a point in Round 2, then suffering defeat again, this time by 30 points to South Adelaide.

Statistically speaking, West Adelaide is the number one clearance team in the competition. Racking up 77 clearances – nine more than the Bloods’ nearest rival – and 26 more than their opponents across the first three weeks, it is an area that they can really take advantage of here. Unfortunately the stoppage dominance has not always led to inside 50 numbers, ranked sixth overall in that area, and when it does go back the other way, the Bloods are equal lowest in terms of overall rebounds. In many other areas they are middle of the road and not too bad, though they are very much a handball-happy side with a 1.87 kick-to-handball ratio, and are ranked fourth overall for disposals.

One ahead of them in ball-winning numbers is the Redlegs who are ranked third in the competition for total disposals, though in their loss to South Adelaide had 63 less touches despite clocking up 201 disposals themselves. One of Norwood’s top strengths is its marking ability, having clunked the second most marks in the competition (141) and marking differential (plus 57). They also lead the league in clearance differential (plus 32) and pump the ball inside 50 more often than any other team (93) with a healthy plus 18 in that stat differential. Their areas of improvement are defensive ones, with Norwood’s tackling differential (minus 68) and rebounding differential (minus 26) the two key areas where they rank eighth in the competition for.

Looking to the teams and West Adelaide has made three changes, with Nicole Hooper missing the game due to injury, while Tara McDermott and Marie Martino are also listed as outs. Coming into the team is clever forward, Kasia Culhane to boost the attacking stocks, as well as Taylor Hand and Ashlea James. What makes the West Adelaide midfield so deep is the top-end talent of Abbie Ballard (19.7 disposals, 2.3 marks, 3.3 tackles, 4.7 clearance and 3.0 inside 50s) and Rachelle Martin (17.3 disposals, 6.3 tackles, 5.0 clearances and 2.3 inside 50s), while Zoe Greer (11.0 disposals, 6.3 tackles and 3.7 clearances) adds to that talent with all three making life difficult for opposition onballers. Up forward, Melanie Elsegood is a strong target coming out of full-forward with multiple goals in all three goals, while Zoe Venning is just 16, but has been good rotating up the ground for 18.3 disposals, 4.3 marks, 2.3 tackles, 2.7 clearances and 2.0 inside 50s. Throw in Keeley Kustermann (13.7 disposals, 2.0 marks, 2.0 tackles and 3.7 rebounds) off half-back alongside the reliable Helen Maidment and Lauren Rodato and West Adelaide’s defence can be as stringent as its forward line can be potent.

Norwood has been forced to make three changes to its Round 3 side, with Alison Ferrall missing the game due to a wedding, and Rhiannon Busch and Rosette Zeralla both out of the team as well. Kate Fenton is among three changes coming into the Redlegs’ side as they eye off a potential top four spot with a Glenelg loss. While they might be 1-2 from a win-loss perspective, Norwood has some serious top-end talent that has just taken a hit due to the quality of last year’s team which saw players drafted into the AFL Women’s competition. Leading the way for Norwood is Leah Cutting who has been sensational in the ruck and a key reason why the Redlegs are ranked second in the competition for hitout differential. The combination of Matilda Zander (17.7 disposals, 5.0 marks, 3.0 tackles and 3.0 inside 50s) – who has recently signed with Collingwood VFL Women’s side – and Bella Smith (8.3 disposals, 3.3 marks and 3.3 inside 50s) through the midfield has been a strong one in the absence of players such as Najwa Allen, Hannah Dunn and Ebony O’Dea who all left to chase their dreams at the elite level. Veteran, Jo Hill continues to be a source of scoring for the Redlegs, booting six goals from three games and will look for that to continue in this game, while versatile utility Mattea Breed (16.0 disposals, 2.0 marks, 2.7 tackles, 3.3 clearances, 4.0 inside 50s) has been able to play across all three lines.

The game itself is a hard one to predict, but given West Adelaide’s consistent form – only being overrun by a premiership contender in North Adelaide last week – and Norwood’s inconsistent form, the Bloods start as favourites in the game. Added to the fact the Redlegs have lost a few key players in the game, expect the Bloods to try and dominate the midfield and give their forwards first opportunity at scoring going inside 50.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, March 14, 7.15pm
Flinders University Stadium

The top of the table clash is the most anticipated match of the SANFL Women’s season thus far, with the second placed South Adelaide hosting the top ranked North Adelaide. In what is also a replay of last year’s SANFL Women’s Grand Final, the Panthers and Roosters have overcome some serious outs from the off-season to still lead the pack in the 2020 competition. In Round 1, the Panthers survived a scare against Woodville-West Torrens to win by four points, then got their groove going after that with a 34-point triumph over Sturt and a five-goal victory over Norwood. The Roosters have had a flawless start to the season with a 24-point win over Glenelg in the opening week of the season, then dominated Central District by 54 and clocked up a 21-point win over West Adelaide in another top of the table clash just last week.

Statistically, both these teams are the clear standouts throughout the season, ranked in the top two in most areas. Starting with the Panthers, they are ranked first for disposal, kick and handball differential, and second for disposals, kicks, tackles and clearances. They do not have too many Achilles heels in the side, though despite having the second most tackles, are actually minus four in that differential, ranked sixth overall. It has helped them prepare for fierce defensive pressure from their opposition and being able to withstand it, something that will help the reigning premiers along the way. In terms of inside 50s they rank third, and also rank third for rebounds, with the Panthers more than capable to defend and attack between and inside the arcs. They are ranked fifth in hitout differential, but it has not stopped them being a premier clearance side.

North Adelaide has its fair share of elite qualities, proving that sheer weight of numbers can overwhelm opposition sides. They ranked first in disposals, kicks and marks in a simple, yet effective possession-style game. With a slight deficiency in tackling (134 total, plus five differential ranked eighth and fourth respectively), it is hard not to have one given their ridiculous amount of the ball they collect each week. They will need to improve their hitouts and clearance work, ranked in the bottom three sides for both, with their real strength coming in their inside 50s. The Roosters have pumped the ball inside 89 times (ranked second in the competition) and have a plus 26 in that statistic, eight more than their nearest rival, and nine more than the Panthers. The Roosters are ranked lower in their rebounds, with an equal fifth and sixth ranked respectively for total and differential in the stat. North Adelaide can take advantage with its keepings-off style and dominating play through a kick-mark-inside 50 gameplan, whilst the Panthers will look to handball their way down the field with speed, often straight out of the stoppages.

The home side has been forced to make at least four chances to its winning combination which could play a role in the game. Montana McKinnon got her chance for the Crows last week during the bye and has retained her spot after a strong debut which is great news, but not so much for the Panthers who will miss her presence around the ground. Also out due to work and unavailability are Lucy Northcott and Sophie Flanagan-Sjoberg, while Kelli Nijhuis suffered a knee injury and will miss. A procession of players return to the line-up with seven players named on an extended bench. Those named straight into the side are 17-year-old Brooklyn Kraft who replaces McKinnon in the ruck for Kraft’s first game of 2020 after four last year, and 16-year-old Lauren Clifton who slots into centre half-back after missing the last two games. Much of the talk around South Adelaide has been its impressive youngsters with Teah Charlton averaging a massive 21.3 disposals, 5.3 tackles, 3.7 clearances and 4.3 inside 50s per game, having really picked up in the past two weeks in particular. Indy Tahau is another who has not been overawed averaging 14.7 disposals, 2.7 marks, 2.3 tackles, 4.0 clearances and 2.3 inside 50s – ranked equal fourth in contested marks having taken five already this year. Somehow flying under the radar is South Adelaide’s midfield of Czenya Cavouras (18.3 disposals, 6.7 tackles and 4.3 clearances), Tahlia Meyer (16.7 disposals, 2.0 marks, 2.7 tackles, 2.7 inside 50s) and Samantha Pratt (11 disposals, 2.7 marks, 5.3 tackles and 3.0 rebounds) – the latter of whom has been named onball after playing a key role in defence last week.

North’s team selection by comparison is relatively stable with just one player added to the line-up on an extended bench with none yet to come out of the side. Charlea Taylor could potentially make her debut for the red and whites in what is the Roosters’ biggest game of the season. It is hard to fault too much with North Adelaide’s performance this year and many of these players will have fire in the belly after losing to the Panthers in last year’s decider. A win here might not make up for the grand final loss, but it will give them confidence going forward they can stand up in big games against quality opposition. The North Adelaide forward line is an embarrassment of riches, with last year’s leading goalkicker Kelly Barltrop yet to dominate but expected to let loose sometime soon, while the likes of Cristie Castle (18.3 disposals, 5.3 marks and 2.0 inside 50s), Hannah Ewings (12.7 disposals, 3.7 marks, 4.0 tackles and 4.0 inside 50s) and Katelyn Pope (14.0 disposals, 5.5 inside 50s, 2.5 tackles) all troubling opposition defenders, with the latter two roaming up the ground and pumping the ball inside 50 on multiple occasions. The star of the club, if not competition this year so far is Ashleigh Woodland who has been dominating on all fronts on her way to an average of 16.7 disposals, 4.7 marks, 2.7 tackles. 2.3 inside 50s and since going forward, has booted seven goals from an average of 20.5 disposals. Also through the midfield is Leah Tynan (14.3 disposals at 91 per cent efficiency, 3.7 tackles, 3.0 clearances and 2.3 inside 50s) and Lauren Daniel (18.0 disposals, 3.7 marks, 3.7 tackles, 3.3 clearances and 2.0 inside 50s), whilst Amber Ward, Kristi Harvey and Lauren Gauci all sure up the defence to give the Roosters a consistent effort across the ground and ensure the opposition team struggles to kick high scores.

The big difference between the teams is the styles that they adopt and while they both are miles ahead of the rest of the competition in terms of disposals, the Panthers look for the quick handball at a competition-low kick-to-handball ratio of 1.3, compared to North Adelaide’s 1.7, which is still below the competition average, but is considerably higher than their opponents. Given North’s strength going inside, if the Roosters can break even in the clearances, then it gives them a huge advantage over their Southern rivals. If the Panthers get on top in the middle, and can find space around the ground, then it gives their chances a huge boost of coming out on top. An absolute ripping contest awaits.

SANFL Women’s Team of the Week: Round 3 – Panthers strike with fantastic five

SOUTH Adelaide leads the way for the Draft Central South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Team of the Week nominations for Round 3, with the Panthers recording an impressive five players in this week’s team. Fellow undefeated side North Adelaide recorded four players in the team, with Glenelg, West Adelaide and Woodville-West Torrens – the only losing side to have more than two – also having three nominees. The remaining four sides had two nominees each, in what was an even league contribution this round.

South Adelaide had plenty of players who put up their hand for nomination in the Team of the Week, starting with Samantha Pratt in the back pocket. She had 18 disposals, two marks, eight tackles, two clearances and six rebounds in the Panthers’ win, while up the other end, Jess Kirk kicked a round-high four goals to go with seven disposals and three contested marks. Through the midfield, Tahlia Meyer was named on a wing after 22 disposals, two marks, three tackles, four inside 50s, two rebounds and a goal, just up from Teah Charlton (26 disposals, six tackles, two clearances, five inside 50s and two rebounds). Rounding out the Panthers’ five is Montana McKinnon who was named on the bench after another strong performance of 14 disposals, seven marks – four contested – three hitouts, two inside 50s and four rebounds.

North Adelaide also remain undefeated in the competition and had four players made the side this week with Kristi Harvey slotting into full-back for the third consecutive week, racking up 15 disposals, five marks and three rebounds in the Roosters’ victory. Up the other end of the ground, last week’s captain, Ashleigh Woodland booted another three goals from five scoring shots to go with 22 touches, seven marks, two tackles, three clearances and two inside 50s. In the forward pocket is Katelyn Pope who had a team-high eight inside 50s as well as 15 disposals, four tackles and a goal, while on the bench due to a stacked starting midfield is Leah Tynan (18 disposals, two marks, six tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s).

Glenelg had its first win of the season on the weekend and were rewarded with three players making the side. Tess Kohn made back-to-back teams, this time in the starting line-up after 13 disposals, five tackles, five clearances and three inside 50s. Captaining the side this week is match-winner and Adelaide AFL Women’s player, Caitlin Gould who was a late inclusion and made the most of it with four goals from eight scoring shots, 18 hitouts, 17 disposals, six marks (two contested), four clearances, two inside 50s and four tackles in the clear dominant performance in Round 3. The other Tiger in the team is Lucy Armitage who made it in after 13 disposals, seven tackles, two clearances and four inside 50s. Their opposition on the day was Central District, with the Bulldogs earning two players in the side – both defenders – with Demi Sonneman named in the back pocket following a 19-disposal, two-mark and six-rebound game, while fellow defender, Kimberley Fry was named on the interchange for her 11 disposals, two marks and four rebounds.

Woodville-West Torrens had three players named in the side as well despite the loss, with a couple of defenders making it in on the half-back line. Amie Blanden and Ashlee Reid both make their debuts in this team following outstanding performances. Blanden had 13 disposals, two marks, three tackles, 10 hitouts, two clearances and two rebounds getting around the ground, while Ashlee Reid finished with 11 disposals, two marks, nine tackles, two inside 50s and five rebounds. Jaimi Tabb was the clear dominant forward in the game, booting three goals from four chances, while having 10 disposals and laying five tackles. Their opponents Sturt only had the two players make it in despite winning in an even team performance. The Double Blues had Georgia Bevan in for the third straight week after 20 disposals, three marks, six tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s, while Isobel Kuiper made the bench following her 18 disposals, five marks, six tackles, four clearances and two inside 50s.

West Adelaide’s three nominees in this week’s team are represented across three areas with Keeley Kustermann returning to the side once again following 12 disposals and six rebounds in defence. A couple of midfielders also make the side with Zoe Venning named vice-captain of this hypothetical squad after a huge game of 26 disposals, six marks (two contested), three clearances, two inside 50s and three rebounds, while Rachelle Martin made the interchange after 16 disposals, four tackles and five clearances. Rounding out the 24-player squad is Norwood who also had two players in the side, Matilda Zander and Leah Cutting. Both players have been in the team this season already, and on the weekend, Zander racked up 18 disposals, eight marks (four contested), three tackles and four inside 50s, while Cutting was named in the ruck once again after 19 hitouts and seven clearances to go with her 11 disposals and six tackles.

There were plenty of players who were on the fringe of forcing their way into the side, and the trio on the cuff of making it in and named as the three emergencies in the team are Glenelg’s Madisyn Freeman, South Adelaide’s Czenya Cavouras and Woodville-West Torrens’ Sophie Zuill. Extending out to the shortlist were defenders, North Adelaide’s Lauren Gauci and South Adelaide’s Emily Brockhurst, Eagles’ forward duo, Stephanie Walker and Kiana Lee, West Adelaide’s Emma Smith and Sturt’s Alex Ballard. Double Blues’ Zoe Prowse and Glenelg’s Soriah Moon were considered for the ruck position as well, while Sturt duo, Jaimee Wittervan and Maya Rigter, Panthers’ Indy Tahau, Norwood’s Jade Halfpenny and Isabel Martin, Central’s Shelby Smith and West Adelaide’s Abbie Ballard were all in consideration for the heavily talented midfield group.

DRAFT CENTRAL SANFL WOMENS TEAM OF THE WEEK – ROUND 3:

B: Samantha Pratt (SA) – Kristi Harvey (NA) – Demi Sonneman (CD)
HB: Ashlee Reid (WWT) – Amie Blanden (WWT) – Keeley Kustermann (WA)
C: Tahlia Meyer (SA) – Zoe Venning (WA) (vc) – Matilda Zander (NW)
HF: Teah Charlton (SA) – Caitlin Gould (GL) (c) – Ashleigh Woodland (NA)
F: Katelyn Pope (NA) – Jaimi Tabb (WWT) – Jess Kirk (SA)
R: Leah Cutting (NW) – Tessa Kohn (GL) – Georgia Bevan (ST)
INT: Lucy Armitage (GL) – Kimberley Fry (CD) – Isobel Kuiper (ST) – Rachelle Martin (WA) – Montana McKinnon (SA) – Leah Tynan (NA)
EMG: Madisyn Freeman (GL) – Czenya Cavouras (SA) – Sophie Zuill (WWT)

SANFL Women’s Round 3 review: Roosters crow as Tigers claw back on winners list

LAST year’s South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s grand finalists head into the first season break undefeated, as South Adelaide and North Adelaide prepare to renew hostilities in Round 4. In other results, Glenelg and Sturt both got on the board for their first wins of the season, defeating last year’s newcomers in Central District and Woodville-West Torrens respectively.

CENTRAL DISTRICT 0.1 | 0.1 | 1.3 | 1.4 (10)
GLENELG 2.5 | 5.8 | 6.11 | 8.12 (60)

GOALS:

Central: K. Rosenzweig.
Glenelg: C. Gould 4, M. Speechley, B. Tonon, S. Moon, L. Armitage.

HIGH DISPOSALS:

Central: D. Sonneman 19
Glenelg: C. Gould 17, Z. Smith 17, M. Freeman 15

An avalanche of scoring opportunities for the previously-winless Glenelg has seen the Tigers defeat Central District by 50 points at X Convenience Oval. In what was the Bulldogs’ second consecutive loss by 50 points or more after an impressive Round 1 win, it was the scoring depth of the Tigers that got them home in the end. They booted five goals from 13 scoring shots in the first half to just one behind, before the Bulldogs scored their first – and only – goal in the third term. Central restricted its opposition to just the three goals in the second half, but the Tigers were just two good in the end, led by Adelaide AFL Women’s player Caitlin Gould who slotted 4.4 in what could have been an even bigger day for the forward, had it not been for inaccuracy.

The inaccuracy did start early for the Tigers, with Melinda Speechley and Gould able to kick majors in between five behinds for the yellow and black, while Katelyn Rosenzweig got the Bulldogs on the board with a behind in the opening three minutes, but scoring chances would be scarce after that. Three more consecutive goals for the visitors through Lucy Armitage, Brooke Tonon and Soriah Moon brought the lead out to 37 points as Glenelg had 13 scoring shots to one heading into the main break. Coming out of half-time with plenty of work to do, the Bulldogs hit the scoreboard with the first three scores, but two were behinds courtesy of a rushed one, and Laitiah Huynh, before Rosenzweig broke the drought with a major at the five-minute mark to cut the deficit to under five goals. Just as the hope was starting to rise for the Bulldogs, Gould came to play – albeit with three consecutive behinds before putting one through in the dying minutes of the term. By that stage, the lead was out to 38 and for all of Central’s good work early in the term, the Tigers had extended the margin in the quarter. Gould got to capitalise on her third term inaccuracy with two more majors late in the game after another Huynh behind, to push the margin out to a half century in an impressive victory in the end.

Statistically, Glenelg dominated possession, winning 62 more disposals and recorded 13 more marks. The Tigers were far too strong out of the middle with hitouts (+20), clearances (+9) and inside 50s (+18) to give their forwards plenty of opportunities in front of goal. While Glenelg did not make the most of all of its inside 50 chances, they had enough to do serious damage. Central’s defence did its best under the circumstances with 28 rebounds to 17, but it was a comprehensive win to the Tigers in a victory that the club will hope can kick-start its year.

Gould was the standout with 17 disposals, six marks (two contested), 18 hitouts, four clearances, two inside 50s and 4.4 in a match-winning performance. Also among the best were Madisyn Freeman (15 disposals, three clearances and two inside 50s), Tessa Kohn (13 disposals, five clearances, five tackles, three inside 50s) and Armitage (13 disposals, seven tackles, four inside 50s and two clearances). Moon worked well with Gould, teaming up for 12 disposals, four marks, 15 hitouts, three clearances, three inside 50s and a goal of her own, while Speechley drove the ball inside 50 a team-high five times to go with her 12 touches, six marks and 1.2

For the Bulldogs, Demi Sonneman tried hard throughout four quarters to be the best on the losing side, recording a team-high six rebounds, as well as 19 disposals and two marks. Ever-present back there with her was Kimberley Fry (11 disposals, two marks and four rebounds), while Alicia Butler (five disposals, five tackles and four rebounds) also cleared the ball on a number of occasions. The other players to win double-figure disposals were Shelby Smith (14 disposals, four marks, four tackles, four clearances, four inside 50s and two rebounds) and Huynh (13 disposals, two marks, three tackles and three inside 50s). Rosenzweig was again the main target up forward, taking a couple of contested marks and laying four tackles form seven disposals and 1.1.

Next week Glenelg takes on the winless Woodville-West Torrens, while Central District hopes to bounce back against Sturt with the Double Blues recording their first victory of the season on the weekend.

NORTH ADELAIDE 2.3 | 3.4 | 5.5 | 6.6 (42)
WEST ADELAIDE 0.0 | 1.3 | 1.3 | 3.3 (21)

GOALS:

North: A. Woodland 3, M. McKendrick, K. Pope, K. Reynolds.
West: M. Elsegood, A. Hardwick.

HIGH DISPOSALS:

North: A. Woodland 22, L. Tynan 18, C. Castle 17, L, Daniel 17, L. Gauci 17, K. Case 15, K. Harvey 15, K. Pope 15, E. Sundstrom 15
West: Z. Venning 26, E. Smith 18, A. Ballard 17, R. Martin 16

A dominant possession-fest from North Adelaide has seen the Roosters win the top of the table clash against their western rivals, winning 6.6 (42) to 3.3 (21) over the Bloods. Both sides headed into the clash with some impressive victories so far this season, but it was a four-quarter performance from the Roosters – particularly over the first three quarters – that locked in the points for them. With nine players picking up 15 or more disposals on the team’s way to a season-high 270 disposals in the game, it was a record-breaking day for the winning team.

North Adelaide had all the play in the opening term as Mollie McKendrick and Ashleigh Woodland converted majors in the first seven minutes. Three consecutive behinds followed for the Roosters to lead by 15 points at the break, and then Kathryn Reynolds‘ early major in the second extended the lead out to 21 before the Bloods registered a score. West Adelaide controlled the majority of the scoring in the second term, but could not make the most of its chances, booting 1.3 to 0.1 after Reynolds’ goal, cutting the deficit to a more manageable 13 points. Melanie Elsegood was the goal kicker for the Bloods, but it would be her opposition’s leading goalkicker that would strike first in the second half, with Woodland slotting her second goal, followed up by a late major in the dying seconds of the third term when Katelyn Pope made one count. By the last change, the lead was out to 26 points and the Bloods knew they would need something special. Abby Hardwick and Elsegood gave the visitors some hope in the match with back-to-back goals in the seven minutes after the break; the margin back to 14 points. Unfortunately that was as close as they got as Woodland again popped up to boot 1.1 herself and just give her side the breathing space it needed to win by 21 points.

Despite the Bloods picking up their fair share of the ball, they were no match for the Roosters who recorded a massive 69 more disposals despite their opposition recording more than 200 touches in the game. They also used the ball more effectively with 70 per cent disposal efficiency to the Bloods’ 60 per cent. A high volume of marks with 54 to 30 also favoured the Roosters, but more remarkably was the tackle count with North Adelaide registering 21 more tackles despite having so much more of the ball. Their hunger on both the inside and outside was evident as they won the hitouts (+4) and clearances (+2), with a comprehensive win in the inside 50s (+10).

When it comes to individual numbers, it was almost beyond belief for the Roosters with every player picking up at least five touches, and just eight recording single-digit disposals – the same amount of players with 15 or more. Of the prominent ball winners, Woodland was again the star, showing off her AFL Women’s experience on her way to 22 touches, seven marks, three clearances, two tackles, two inside 50s and 3.2. Leah Tynan (18 disposals, two marks, six tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s), Cristie Castle (17 disposals, five marks), Lauren Daniel (17 disposals, two marks, two tackles and two clearances) and Lauren Gauci (17 disposals, five marks – two contested – five tackles and two inside 50s) were the prominent ones. Out of defence, Kate Case (15 disposals, five marks and three rebounds) and Kristi Harvey (15 disposals, five marks and three rebounds) were strong, while Pope had a team-high eight rebounds to go with 15 disposals and four tackles.

West Adelaide’s Zoe Venning picked up the most touches in the match with 26, as well as six marks (two contested), three clearances, two inside 50s and three rebounds. Emma Smith (18 disposals, three tackles, three inside 50s and two rebounds) was prominent, working hard with the Bloods’ two main ball winners in Abbie Ballard (17 disposals, five tackles, three clearances and three inside 50s) and Rachelle Martin (16 disposals, four tackles and five clearances). Out of defence, Keeley Kustermann was again reliable with 12 disposals and six rebounds, teaming up well with Madison Russell (12 and three) and Naimh Davis (10 and four).

Next weekend is a bye before Round 4 commences across March 13-14, North Adelaide takes on South Adelaide in a grand final rematch, while West Adelaide faces Norwood earlier in the evening on Saturday, March 14.

WWT EAGLES 1.0 | 2.1 | 4.3 | 4.4 (28)
STURT 2.0 | 3.2 | 5.3 | 5.6 (36)

GOALS:

WWT: J. Tabb 3, K. Lee.
Sturt: A. Ballard 2, A. Brown, A. Ladas, Z. Prowse.

HIGH DISPOSALS:

WWT: S. Walker 18
Sturt: G. Bevan 20, I. Kuiper 18, J. Wittervan 16

Sturt has broken its winless drought to start season 2020, whilst handing Woodville-West Torrens a third straight single-digit defeat on the weekend. Both sides headed into the SANFL Women’s Round 3 clash with back-to-back defeats, with the Eagles particularly unlucky after being in front in both their clashes before losing in tight circumstances. The result meant the Double Blues get on the board and could use the win as a way to kick-start their season, while the Eagles will need to play catch-up in the coming weeks across such a short season.

Sturt only took four minutes to get on the board in the first term when Arabella Brown converted a goal, which was soon counted by Adelaide Crows’ AFL Women’s player Jaimi Tabb who responded a mere 90-odd seconds later. In the dying minutes, Alex Ballard put her side in front, helping Sturt to a six-point lead at quarter time. Another early goal in the second term – this time to Zoe Prowse – again extended the lead for the Double Blues – before Tabb stepped up to the plate for a second term to keep her side in touch and head into the break seven points down. Back-to-back goals to Sturt in the third term – to Ballard and Ally Ladas – blew the margin to 18 points, before Kiana Lee booted her first of the contest, and Tabb made it really interesting with a late goal dragging the margin back to a straight kick. The fourth term was a battle of attrition as Mikayla Cavallaro booted a behind in the opening minute to cut the deficit to five, but neither side could put one through the big sticks, with Sturt booting three behinds over the next 10 minutes to eventually hold off the Eagles in an eight-point win.

Both sides had an identical amount of disposals – 197 – with the Eagles opting for a much more handball-based game with a 1.31 kick-to-handball ratio compared to the Double Blues’ 2.52 ratio. For the third consecutive week, the Eagles won the tackle count (69-51), but Sturt was the clear winner in marks, taking 27 more across the ground. Sturt also dominated the hitouts (31-13) and inside 50s (39-16), but the Eagles defence remarkably held up well despite that count, winning the rebounds 33-12. They also marginally won the clearances (+4) in a sign that the midfield could match it with some quality onballers.

Co-captain Georgia Bevan topped the disposal count in the match with 20, as well as three marks, six tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s in a crucial role for the Double Blues. Isobel Kuiper was also important in there with 18 disposals, five arks, six tackles, four clearances and two inside 50s, while Prowse did well as the number one ruck with 16 hitouts, 14 disposals, three marks, four clearances and three inside 50s. Jaimee Wittervan had an equal team-high five inside 50s to accompany 16 disposals, three tackles and three clearances, while Maya Rigter was strong in the midfield with seven tackles, 14 disposals, three marks, two clearances and three inside 50s.

For the Eagles, Stephanie Walker led the way with disposals, picking up 18 and eight tackles, as well as three clearances, two inside 50s and two rebounds, while ruck, Amie Blanden worked hard around the ground for 13 disposals, 10 hitouts, two marks, two clearances and two rebounds. Moving the ball well in transition from half-forward was Lee who had 11 disposals, four marks, two tackles, four inside 50s and 1.2, while Tabb was the clear dominant target at full-forward, booting 3.1 from 10 touches and laying five tackles. In defence, Ashlee Reid had a match-high five rebounds to go with 11 touches and nine tackles, while Tesharna Maher (12 disposals, two marks and four rebounds) and Grace Smallacombe (10 disposals, four rebounds) were also prolific in an under-siege defence.

Following the week off, Woodville-West Torrens takes on Glenelg, with Sturt facing Central District in a double-header day at X Convenience Oval on Friday, March 13.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 1.1 | 4.1 | 8.1 | 9.2 (56)
NORWOOD 0.1 | 2.2 | 3.2 | 4.2 (26)

GOALS:

South: J. Kirk 4, T. Buethke, K. Nijhuis, M. Bennett, T. Meyer,
Norwood: A. Ferrall, J. Halfpenny, J. Hill, B. Smith. I. Tahau.

HIGH DISPOSALS:

South: T. Charlton 26, T. Meyer 22, C. Cavouras 20, S. Pratt 18, E. Brockhurst 15
Norwood: J. Halfpenny 19, M. Zander 18

Reigning premier, South Adelaide produced its best performance of 2020 to-date, downing last year’s minor premier, Norwood by 30 points in the final game of the round. The Panthers remain undefeated with the win to sit second overall on the table, booting seven out of eight consecutive goals from the ninth minute of the second term through to the sixth minute of the fourth term to run away with the 9.2 (56) to 4.2 (26) victory. They head into the first weekend off with a perfect start to the season, while the Redlegs head in with a 1-2 record and hoping to find some form in the next part of the SANFL Women’s season.

The first quarter was rather quiet for two sides that can be known for their heavy scoring, as a Jess Kirk goal was the only major for the Panthers midway through the term, either side of a behind for both teams. Trailing by six points at quarter time, Alison Ferrall started a flurry of activity for both teams early in the second term, booting a goal two minutes into the quarter, one of four over the next seven minutes with the teams jostling for momentum. Tahlita Buethke responded a minute later for South to regain the lead, but no sooner had she done that, Jade Halfpenny converted for Norwood and the scores were all-square once again. A few minutes later, Kelly Nijhuis slotted an important goal, and in the dying seconds of the half, Indy Tahau put one through the big sticks for the Panthers to carry the momentum into the second half with an 11-point lead. Carry that momentum they did, with Madison Bennett and Kirk blowing the lead out to 23 points just four minutes into the third term, before an important stabilising goal to Bella Smith nudged it back under three goals. That was about it for Norwood though, as Tahlia Meyer and Kirk’s third goal all but put an end to the resistance with a game-high 29-point advantage by the final break. Kirk kicked her fourth early in the last term and many feared it could be a blowout, but Jo Hill managed to get one back and the Redlegs kept the scoring to a minimum to save some percentage and ensure the margin remained at 30 by the final siren.

South out-possessed the possession-heavy Redlegs with 261 to 199 disposals for the game, running at almost a 50 per cent balance between kicks and handballs, while Norwood had double the kicks compared to handballs in the game. The Panthers’ disposal was slick, recording an elite 74 per cent which was one of the highest of the season, compared to Norwood’s 60 per cent, and they laid 17 more tackles. The Redlegs had nine more marks than their opponents, won the hitouts (+3), clearances (+4) and inside 50s (+13), with the latter particularly disappointing that they did not make more of their chances. The Panthers defence deserve plaudits with 33 rebounds to 14, in what was ultimately a game about making opportunities count. With 11 scoring shots from 24 entries, South Adelaide scored at almost 50 per cent of the time they went inside 50, while Norwood sat at just 16 per cent (six from 37).

South Adelaide had a wealth of performers on the day, with Teah Charlton again a standout player, racking up a match-high 26 disposals, one mark, six tackles, two clearances, five inside 50s and two rebounds, joined in the bests by fellow ball-winners, Meyer (22 disposals, two marks, three tackles, four inside 50s and two rebounds) and Czenya Cavouras (20 disposals, one mark, seven tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s). Samantha Pratt was also busy with 18 disposals, eight tackles and six rebounds out of defence, working well with Emily Brockhurst (15 disposals, four marks and four rebounds) and Montana McKinnon (14 disposals, seven marks – four contested – three hitouts, two inside 50s and four rebounds) who slipped back into defence. Kirk’s four majors came from just seven disposals and three marks – all contested – while Tahau took over the majority of the ruck duties with the teenager picking up 12 hitouts to go with her 14 touches, four marks – two contested – three clearances, two inside 50s and a goal.

Norwood still had a number of impressive players with Halfpenny leading the disposal-count thanks to 19 touches, three marks – one contested – two tackles, one clearance and two inside 50s. Matilda Zander was prominent on the outside and strong overhead with 18 disposals, eight marks – four contested – four inside 50s and three tackles, while Isabel Martin laid a team-high eight tackles to go with her 14 disposals, five marks, two clearances and three inside 50s. Ruck, Leah Cutting won the most clearances on the day with seven, as well as 19 hitouts, 11 disposals and six tackles in the loss, aided by Mattea Breed around stoppages who finished with a second-high of three clearances, as well as 13 disposals, two marks and two inside 50s. Lindsay Bigg and Alana Lishmund combined for 19 disposals and nine inside 50s, pumping the ball into the Redlegs’ front six in a big to try and create some more scoring opportunities.

The entire competition has a bye next weekend, but the following one sees South Adelaide doing battle in a grand final rematch and top-of-the-table clash against North Adelaide, while Norwood takes on West Adelaide in the earlier game at Flinders University Stadium on Saturday, March 14.

SANFL Women’s Team of the Week: Round 2

IT was seventh heaven for North Adelaide in our Draft Central Team of the Week for the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition in Round 2. The Roosters had a huge win on Saturday to maintain top spot on the table and they were rewarded with a record seven players in the 24-player team. A record unlikely to be beaten for some time, they covered all three areas of the ground and were remarkably all on the field as well. The other four winners in South Adelaide (four), West Adelaide (three) and Norwood (three) all had strong representation, as did narrow losers, Woodville-West Torrens (three), Sturt (two), Central District (one) and Glenelg (one) were well beaten on the weekend, but still managed to have representatives in the side.

North Adelaide needs a special mention for its massive haul in our team, with Kristi Harvey again lining up at full-back following 10 disposals, two marks (one contested), one tackle and four rebounds on the last line. Also in defence are Amber Ward and Lauren Gauci who combined for 37 disposals, 11 marks and five rebounds, with Ward also laying five tackles and collecting two inside 50s, while Gauci had a couple of clearances. Moving into the midfield and Lauren Daniel is in the centre position after an impressive 23 disposals, four marks, seven tackles, six clearances, four inside 50s and a goal, while alongside her is this week’s team captain, Ashleigh Woodland who had 19 disposals, five marks (one contested), three tackles, three inside 50s and a massive four goals and two behinds. Daniel joins Harvey as a second-time entrant, while Woodland makes her debut in our Team of the Week. Up forward, Round 1 Breakthrough Player, Hannah Ewings stepped up for a round-high nine inside 50s as well as 17 disposals, five marks (one contested), three tackles and one goal. She is joined in the front six by the seventh Rooster in the side, Cristie Castle who impressed with 22 touches, five marks (one contested), three tackles, two inside 50s and one goal.

The next best haul was South Adelaide with four players making the side and a number of unlucky talents just missing out. Potential top pick, Teah Charlton was named at half-forward after a stunning game of 24 disposals, three marks (one contested), five tackles, four clearances and five inside 50s, while Jess Kirk – who really turned it on up forward – is named in the pocked after an effective three goals from six touches and three marks (two contested), with a couple of behinds which potentially could have been more majors. Onball, Courtney Barry was the best of the lot, named vice-captain of our side following her 20 disposals, one mark, 10 tackles, nine clearances, two inside 50s and two rebounds. Rounding out the quartet is Tahlia Meyer who had the 21 disposals, three marks, three tackles and one goal on the day. Two players from their opponents in the match made our team, with reliable defender Hannah Prenzler (15 disposals, six marks, three tackles and four rebounds) and co-captain Georgia Bevan (19 disposals, three marks, eight tackles, three inside 50s and three rebounds) making the side once again.

Another big winner on the weekend was West Adelaide, with such an even team performance making it hard to just select a few. Rachelle Martin made the side once again after 21 disposals, one mark, four tackles, five clearances, four inside 50s and three behinds – which meant she could have had even more of an impact – while Zoe Greer is right alongside her in the midfield with 18 disposals, 12 tackles, eight clearances and two inside 50s for the player named rover in the side. Emma Smith squeezes onto a stacked interchange after 15 disposals, four marks, 10 tackles and two clearances, right alongside another 10-tackle player in Jaimi Tabb with the Woodville-West Eagles midfielder also notching up 16 disposals, two marks and six inside 50s in her side’s loss to Norwood. Along with Tabb, Tesharna Maher made the side once again in the back pocket thanks to 12 disposals, two marks, two tackles, two inside 50s and four rebounds, while Kiana Lee‘s three first half goals from nine disposals, three contested marks and four tackles earned her a spot in the team.

Norwood’s one-point win over the Eagles could be in part thanks to its spine, with ruck Leah Cutting named the top ruck for the round following 13 disposals, two contested marks, six tackles, 23 hitouts, two clearances and four inside 50s. Up forward, Mattea Breed and Jo Hill fill out the key position spots after Breed racked up 21 touches, three marks (one contested), five tackles, four clearances, six inside 50s and two rebounds, while Hill booted 3.1 from 10 disposals and three marks (two contested). Of the remaining two sides, they each had a representative, with Central District’s Kimberley Fry making the team for her steadfast work in the back 50, picking up eight disposals, two tackles and four rebounds, while Glenelg’s Tessa Kohn had 11 touches, two marks (one contested), seven tackles and four clearances in the Tigers’ loss.

Picking a team was so tough this round that genuinely there were 33 players that were initially in the squad with six having to be omitted just to fit the team. West Adelaide’s Melanie Elsegood and Keeley Kustermann, South Adelaide’s Montana McKinnon, Sturt’s Maya Rigter, Norwood’s Matilda Zander and Sophie Armitstead, Central’s Demi Sonneman and Danielle Stewart, and Glenelg’s Soriah Moon all were on the short list but narrowly missed out. Others who were also considered after impressive performances were West Adelaide’s Abbie Ballard and Zoe Venning, North Adelaide’s Kathryn Reynolds, Glenelg’s Chelsea Packer, South Adelaide’s Elyse Haylock and Woodville-West Torrens’ Stephanie Walker. With so much to consider, the final decision of the 24 came down to more team balance, with a number of talls roaming the forward line, the bench was prioritised by smaller players to ensure the team was not too top-heavy and resembled a realistic side. With the quality coming through, it will only get tougher to pick each week.

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

B: Tesharna Maher (WWT) – Kristi Harvey (NA) – Kimberley Fry (CD)
HB: Amber Ward (NA) – Hannah Prenzler (ST) – Lauren Gauci (NA)
C: Ashleigh Woodland (NA – c) – Lauren Daniel (NA) – Rachelle Martin (WA)
HF: Teah Charlton (SA) – Mattea Breed (NW) – Hannah Ewings (NA)
F: Cristie Castle (NA) – Jo Hill (NW) – Jess Kirk (SA)
R: Leah Cutting (NW) – Courtney Barry (SA – vc) – Zoe Greer (WA)
INT: Georgia Bevan (ST) – Tessa Kohn (GL) – Kiana Lee (WWT) – Tahlia Meyer (SA) – Emma Smith (WA) – Jaimi Tabb (WWT)

EMG: Montana McKinnon (SA) – Maya Rigter (ST) – Matilda Zander (NW)