Tag: lauren smith

SANFL Women’s Team of the Week: Round 4 – Panthers and Roosters combine for eight reps

EVERY South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s side has at least two nominees in the Draft Central SANFL Women’s Team of the Week 24-player squad for Round 4, with the top of the table clash between North Adelaide and South Adelaide providing a combined eight. Norwood also had four players after drawing with West Adelaide, the Bloods and other winners, Woodville-West Torrens Eagles had three apiece. Sturt, Glenelg and Central District all had two representatives in this week’s Team of the Week.

The triumphant North Adelaide’s quartet of players begins at full-back where the reliable Kristi Harvey cements her spot for the fourth consecutive round after 15 disposals, eight marks (two contested), six tackles and eight rebounds against the Panthers – and is also named captain of the side. Up the opposite end, match-winner Kelly Barltrop has been named at full-forward following two goals, while Katelyn Pope – the player who delivered the ball to Barltrop for the match-winner – had an impressive all-round game with 17 touches, one mark, four tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and four rebounds. Lauren Gauci also made the team for the Roosters off half-back following 19 disposals, four tackles, one clearance and three rebounds. The game provided plenty of impressive individual performances, with South Adelaide’s Jaslynne Smith recording 11 disposals, five marks and eight rebounds in the back pocket one of four representatives from the Panthers. Through the midfield, Czenya Cavouras (21 disposals, 12 tackles, seven clearances and five inside 50s) and Courtney Barry (23 disposals, two marks, five tackles, eight clearances and three inside 50) are in the starting group, while Nicole Campbell (23 disposals, two marks, nine tackles, three clearances, five inside 50s and a goal) made it into the team of the bench.

Norwood and West Adelaide shared in seven players between them during their draw on the weekend. From the defence are Norwood duo, Michele Reid and Mattea Breed who slot into the back six. Reid had 13 disposals, one mark, two tackles and five rebounds, while Breed was able to impact all across the ground picking up 17 disposals, four marks (three contested), four tackles, five clearances, two inside 50s and three rebounds. Named on a wing is Matilda Zander who amassed 22 disposals, three marks (one contested), seven tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and one rebound, while Jade Halfpenny makes her way onto the bench following 13 disposals, six marks (four contested), four tackles, two clearances, three inside 50s and one rebound. West Adelaide’s Madison Newman returned to the side after AFL Women’s duties and had a strong performance, picking up 18 disposals, four marks (one contested), two tackles, one clearance, four inside 50s and four rebounds in the draw. Also in the team are Kasia Culhane who returned to the Westies side as well as our Team of the Week following 15 disposals, five marks (two contested), five tackles and five inside 50s, while Rachelle Martin makes the team again following 21 disposals, three marks, nine tackles and five clearances.

The other team with three representatives is Woodville-West Torrens as three-goal forwards, Kiana Lee and Nicole Collie slot into the respective pockets. Lee also had 11 disposals, four marks (one contested), two tackles and two inside 50s, while Collie made the most of her five disposals, three marks (one contested) and four tackles. Rhiannon Metcalfe also had a standout performance through the ruck for the Eagles, picking up 16 disposals, four tackles, 26 hitouts, four clearances and four inside 50s to make the bench in the side. On the opposition side, Glenelg, Tessa Kohn earned herself another spot in the side following 18 disposals, two marks, five tackles, seven clearances and three inside 50s, while Lucy Armitage made it onto the interchange after 13 disposals, one mark, 10 tackles and seven clearances. The first game of the round between Central District and Sturt saw both teams fill out eight representatives, as Zoe Prowse earned the honour of starting ruck – and the vice-captain honour – after a phenomenal 23 disposals, four marks, three tackles, 20 hitouts, 10 clearances, two inside 50s and two rebounds in the win over the Bulldogs. Joining her in the side is teammate, Georgia Bevan (14 disposals, two marks, three tackles, four clearances, two rebounds and a goal), as Central’s two representatives were key forward, Katelyn Rosenzweig (13 disposals, four marks – three contested – four tackles, two inside 50s and two goals) and midfielder Shelby Smith (15 disposals, one mark, 10 tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s).

There were a number of unlucky players to miss out on the 24-player side this week with South Adelaide’s Indy Tahau, North Adelaide’s Lauren Daniel and Woodville-West Torrens’ Chloe Forby named the three emergencies. Tahau was particularly unlucky in a round where so many rucks made their presence felt. Norwood’s Leah Cutting and Glenelg’s Soriah Moon were another couple of players to miss out despite big games in the ruck, while Central duo, Lauren Breguet and Lauren Smith, and Sturt’s Jo-Anna Baltais were also players who came into consideration for spots in the side.

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

B: Jaslynne Smith (SA) – Kristi Harvey (NA) (c) – Michele Reid (NW)
HB: Madison Newman (WA) – Mattea Breed (NW) – Lauren Gauci (NA)
C: Czenya Cavouras (SA) – Tessa Kohn (GL) – Matilda Zander (NW)
HF: Katelyn Pope (NA) – Katelyn Rosenzweig (CD) – Kasia Culhane (WA)
F: Kiana Lee (WWT) – Kelly Barltrop (NA) – Nicole Collie (WWT)
R: Zoe Prowse (ST) (vc) – Rachelle Martin (WA) – Courtney Barry (SA)
INT: Lucy Armitage (GL) – Georgia Bevan (ST) – Nicole Campbell (SA) – Jade Halfpenny (NW) – Rhiannon Metcalfe (WWT) – Shelby Smith (CD)
EMG: Indy Tahau (SA) – Lauren Daniel (NA) – Chloe Forby (WWT)

SANFL Women’s Round 2 review: Bloods and Roosters size up ahead of blockbuster clash next week

NORTH Adelaide and West Adelaide have sent early messages to the rest of the competition in Round 2 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s, ahead of the side’s huge Round 3 clash next week. South Adelaide became the only other undefeated side in the league taking care of Sturt, while Norwood pinched a come-from-behind win against Woodville-West Torrens in the other game.

WEST ADELAIDE 2.3 | 3.6 | 5.10 | 6.12 (48)
GLENELG 0.0 | 1.2 | 1.2 | 1.2 (8)

GOALS:

West: M. Elsegood 3, T. McDermott, Z. Venning, K. Culhane.
Glenelg: S. Moon.

HIGH DISPOSALS:

West: R. Martin 21, Z. Greer 18, A. Ballard 17, K. Kustermann 15, E. Smith 15
Glenelg: C. Packer 17

West Adelaide has sent a statement to the rest of the SANFL Women’s competition with a 40-point belting of Glenelg. After an impressive win in Round 1 over Sturt, the Bloods took it up a notch to record a massive 18 scoring shots to three, and answering every challenge asked of them. When the Tigers booted their first – and only – goal to get within nine points, West Adelaide kicked away with the last four goals of the match to run out 6.12 (48) to 1.2 (8) winners.

After an inaccurate 2.3 last week, Melanie Elsegood made the most of her chances with three majors, and in what was a super defensive effort from the Bloods, restricted Glenelg from scoring in all bar five minutes of the match. The Tigers’ only goal came at the 10-minute mark of the second term when Soriah Moon broke the drought, but it was all West Adelaide after that, with the Bloods recording the last nine scoring shots of the match. Indeed with a team score of 6.12, the end margin could have been even greater with Rachelle Martin (three behinds) and Zoe Greer (two behinds) among those who could have walked away with some majors.

The stats all pointed to the Bloods, recording 42 more disposals than their opponents, and they dominated both the clearances (30-15) and inside 50s (21-12), despite Glenelg winning the hitouts for the second week in a row (33-17). Greer had a day out in a best on ground performance, picking up 18 disposals, one mark, eight clearances, 12 tackles and two inside 50s, with the two misses potentially adding an extra string to her bow on the night.

Martin was also influential in the middle with 21 disposals, one mark, five clearances, four inside 50s and four tackles, while Emma Smith (15 disposals, 10 tackles) and Olivia Smith (eight disposals, 13 tackles) were incredible with their defensive pressure. While she did not rack up the same numbers as last week, Abbie Ballard still played her role with 17 disposals, two marks, two clearances and three inside 50s, while Keeley Kustermann (15 disposals, four marks, two clearances, two rebounds and two tackles was once again good out of the back half. Zoe Venning also impressed with 13 disposals, five marks, two clearances, two inside 50s and a goal proving to be a dominant force in the forward half.

The Tigers were well beaten on the night, but Chelsea Packer was the standout with a team-high 17 disposals, two marks, six tackles and three rebounds. While the midfield was not able to make use of her dominance, Moon was a star with 24 hitouts and three clearances, as well as four tackles and a goal from just five disposals. Tessa Kohn was the other Tiger with more than two clearances, picking up four to accompany 11 disposals, two marks and seven tackles, while Lucy Armitage led the way for defensive pressure with 12 tackles.

The Tigers will need to bounce back next week when they take on Central District, while the Bloods have a huge clash against North Adelaide.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 1.2 | 3.7 | 3.11 | 5.13 (43)
STURT 1.3 | 1.3 | 1.3 | 1.3 (9)

GOALS:

South: J. Kirk 3, E. Haylock, T. Meyer.
Sturt: K. Harris.

HIGH DISPOSALS:

South: T. Charlton 24, T. Meyer 21, C. Barry 20, E. Haylock 18, T. Buethke 15, C. Cavouras 15, M. McKinnon 15
Sturt: G. Bevan 19, H. Prenzler 15

A dominant South Adelaide outfit put Sturt to the sword after quarter time in a comfortable 5.13 (43) to 1.3 (9) win, booting 4.11 to 0.0 in the final three quarters to run away 32-point winners. Jess Kirk got proceedings underway for the home side, before Kate Harris responded for the Double Blues four minutes later. An array of missed chances for the visitors – including two behinds to Ally Ladas back-to-back would come back to bite them as Sturt led by just one point heading into quarter time. It was all South Adelaide after that, with Kirk adding her second and Elyse Haylock getting on the scoreboard for the Panthers to open up a 16-point advantage at half-time. An inaccurate South Adelaide side booted seven straight behinds to go from 3.4 to 3.11 and just give Sturt a sniff heading into the last quarter. Tahlia Meyer took just 32 seconds to close the door on any potential comeback in the final term, with Kirk booting her third goal later in the quarter to lock up the comfortable win.

The Panthers could have won by more with Callie Wilson (four behinds), Indy Tahau (two behinds) and Kirk (3.2) among those that could have had bigger days out. For Sturt, the side was just outplayed by a better unit, as South won 62 more disposals, and had six more contested marks, as well as won the clearances (26-16) and dominated the inside 50s (32-10). Sturt’s defence again tried to hold strong with 16 more rebounds, but were overwhelmed with the volume of inside 50 entries, though their skilful outside game showed at times, with a higher disposal efficiency (76 per cent) and 14 more marks (44-30).

Teah Charlton showed just why she is considered South Australia’s top prospect for the 2020 AFL Women’s Draft with 24 disposals, three marks (one contested), five tackles, four clearances and five inside 50s in the win. Meyer (21 disposals, three marks, three tackles, three inside 50s and a goal) was also impressive, while Courtney Barry‘s work on the inside (20 disposals, nine clearances, 10 tackles, two inside 50s and two rebounds) was outstanding. Montana McKinnon continued to look a class above with 17 hitouts, three clearances, six inside 50s and 15 touches, while midfielder, Czenya Cavouras helped herself to 15 disposals, three clearances, two inside 50s and two tackles. Haylock was the other big ball winner with 18 disposals, five tackles, two inside 50s and a goal.

The Double Blues’ standout trio from last week again were the three best, with co-captains Georgia Bevan and Maya Rigter impressive in midfield, and Hannah Prenzler standing up in defence. Bevan picked up a team-high 19 disposals, as well as eight tackles, three marks, three inside 50s and three rebounds, while Rigter had a team-high 12 tackles to go with 12 disposals, two marks, three clearances and three rebounds. Prenzler finished with 15 disposals, six marks and four rebounds in a quarter back type role. Other Double Blues who showed some nice signs despite the loss were Isobel Kuiper (10 disposals, three marks, nine tackles and two clearances), Jaimee Wittervan (10 disposals, three tackles and three clearances) and Stephanie Ratliff (seven disposals, 13 hitouts, two clearances and six tackles).

Sturt has to come in next week against a hungry Woodville-West Torrens side which keeps falling short of its inaugural win in the competition, while South Adelaide takes on rival Norwood with both games a part of the Triple Header at Flinders University Stadium.

WWT EAGLES 2.2 | 4.3 | 4.5 | 4.5 (29)
NORWOOD 0.0 | 1.2 | 3.2 | 4.6 (30)

GOALS:

WWT: K. Lee 3, J. Zecevic.
Norwood: J. HIll 3, L. Bigg.

HIGH DISPOSALS:

WWT: J. Tabb 16
Norwood: M. Breed 21, S. Armitstead 17, M. Zander 16

So near, yet so far for a disappointed Woodville-West Torrens outfit that for the second consecutive week, fell short of the four points despite an incredibly spirited effort. The Eagles looked unbelievable in the first half of their clash against Norwood having almost toppled reigning premiers, South Adelaide just a week earlier. But while the winless Eagles outfit led by as much 19 points at half-time, they could not sustain it as the Redlegs booted 3.4 to 0.2 in the second half to run over the top of them with a late Lindsay Bigg goal the dagger in the hearts of Eagles fans.

Having missed out on a massive upset the week prior, Woodville-West Torrens looked determined to turn it around in the second match against Norwood. Last year’s minor premiers looked shaky last week with so much turnover from the off-season, while the Eagles lost but were every bit in the contest in Round 1. Kiana Lee started the Eagles off on the right foot with the teenager converting a goal six minutes into the contest, before Jovanka Zecevic made it two and the home side was 14 points up at quarter time without its opponent making an impact on the scoreboard. Jo Hill finally did that early in the second to get the ball rolling for Norwood, but Lee immediately answered a minute later with her second, and then her third came later in the quarter with the lead out to a 19-point advantage by the main break. Looking down and out, Hill stepped up again, booting back-to-back goals, albeit eight minutes apart, to suddenly drag her side back to within seven points at the final break. Both Lee and Eboni Tiller missed chances to give the Eagles some breathing space at the last chance, and the final term was all Norwood. Despite the Redlegs doing all the attacking, they booted four straight behinds from Bigg (two), Mattea Breed and Hill, to still trail by five points as late as the 16th minute of the final term. Then, it was a case of third time lucky with Bigg kicking a match-winning goal with 50 seconds on the clock, to send the Norwood faithful into jubilation, while for the Eagles fans it was another heartbreaking loss.

The stats were fairly even across the board in terms of ball finding and use, with Norwood able to work its way on the outside with 36 marks to 19, including nine contested to five. The Eagles brutal defensive work again stood up with a whopping 88 tackles to 47, not giving the Redlegs an inch. Despite Norwood winning the hitouts (28-20), Woodville-West Torrens won the clearances (22-20), as both the inside-50 and rebound counts were almost identical. There was not much between the sides, and it showed on the scoreboard, with Norwood able to weather the defensive pressure of the Eagles and kick a goal when required to get the job done.

Breed was the standout for the Redlegs with the Central Allies’ Under-18 representative picking up 21 disposals, three marks (one contested), five tackles, four clearances, six inside 50s and two rebounds in a good all-round performance. Sophie Armitstead built on her Round 1 game with 17 disposals, one mark, five tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and two rebounds, while Matilda Zander again found plenty of the ball with 16 touches, two marks, four inside 50s, three rebounds, two clearances and two tackles. The top ruck in the competition, Leah Cutting had 23 hitouts and two contested marks to go with four inside 50s, six tackles and 13 touches in the win. Alison Ferrall (10 disposals, three inside 50s) and Bella Smith (10 disposals, four inside 50s, three tackles and four marks) worked hard in the forward half of the ground, while Tessa Hankinson (10 disposals, two marks, two tackles, two clearances and three rebounds) was strong in defence. Hill’s three goals from six touches was ultimately the difference in the end, while Rhiannon Busch had a team-high four rebounds to go with her six touches and three tackles.

Jaimi Tabb put in a huge performance to make the Adelaide AFL Women’s coaching staff take note, recording a team-high 16 touches, as well as two marks, 10 tackles and six inside 50s, setting the tone for her teammates. Speaking of setting the tone, Mikayla Cavallaro laid a huge 14 tackles to go with 11 disposals, while Tesharna Maher was again prolific out of defence with 12 disposals, two marks, two inside 50s, three tackles and four rebounds. Also among the top ball winners for the losing side were Chloe Forby (12 disposals, two marks, three tackles, two clearances and two inside 50s) and Stephanie Walker (12 disposals, five tackles, two clearances and four inside 50s). All bar one player on the Eagles side laid at least one tackle in the match, as Grace Smallcombe and Jaime Parish had equal team-high rebounds of four apiece to aide Maher out of defence.

It would have been disappointing for the Eagles who arguably deserved the win between their efforts of the first two rounds, but it showed that whoever stands up when it counts can take the four points. Norwood was the better team on the scoreboard in the second half, and the Redlegs have a great escape heading into such a huge Round 3 match against reigning premiers South Adelaide, while the Eagles will search for that win against bottom of the table, Sturt.

CENTRAL DISTRICT 0.0 | 1.0 | 1.1 | 1.1 (7)
NORTH ADELAIDE 2.2 | 5.3 | 7.4 | 9.7 (61)

GOALS:

Central: K. Rosenzweig.
North: A. Woodland 4, K. Reynolds 2, C. Castle, L. Daniel, H. Ewings.

HIGH DISPOSALS:

Central: G. Madigan 13
North: L. Daniel 23, C. Castle 22, L. Gauchi 21, A. Woodland 19, H. Ewings 17, A. Ward 16

It was touted as arguably the match of the round prior to the weekend given it was the only one between two Round 1 winners, but it ended up being a premiership contender endorsement for North Adelaide. Looking to go one step further than their runner-up effort last year, the Roosters flexed their muscles on Central District with the Bulldogs side clearly improved from last season, but unable to make too much leeway against an incredibly impressive North Adelaide outfit. The Roosters ran out 54-point winners with the highest score and biggest winning margin of the season, putting an exclamation mark on their already top of the table position.

The signs looked ominous early on, with former Melbourne AFL Women’s player, Ashleigh Woodland up and about up forward, booting 2.1 in the first term as she led her side to a 14-point lead at the break. By the eighth minute of the second term, North Adelaide was 33 points up and the game seemed done and dusted. Woodland had booted her third, with Kathryn Reynolds and last week’s Breakthrough Player of the Round, Hannah Ewings both hitting the scoreboard. Competition leading goalkicker, Katelyn Rosenzweig broke the drought for her side midway through the term to give them a sniff on the edge of half-time. Alas for the home team, it was the Roosters who continued their dominance after the break, as Woodland narrowly missed a fourth goal early, before Cristie Castle and then Reynolds both capitalised, and the lead was out to 39 points at the last change. Refusing to take the foot off, North Adelaide piled on the pressure with Lauren Daniel booting her first of the contest, then Woodland converted her fourth to head home with 4.2 for the day, and the Roosters headed home with a nine-goal win.

Not surprisingly, the Roosters were dominant on the stats sheet, winning 261 disposals and going at a terrific 74 per cent efficiency. Their handball game was on-point as they moved the ball well down the ground. They took 16 more marks and seven more contested marks, and dominated the inside-50 count, 36-22. Working in the Bulldogs’ favour, they matched it with the Roosters in the middle, with both the hitouts and clearances, and were able to rebound the ball out of the back half 26 times to 21. Unfortunately for the home side, the sheer weight of numbers prevailed and the Roosters managed to score 16 times from 36 entries, with the extra class and experience of Woodlands and her teammates getting the visitors home.

There was no shortage of huge individual performances on the Roosters side, with Woodland the clear standout thanks to 19 disposals, five marks – one contested, three inside 50s, three tackles and of course, four goals from six scoring chances. Daniel was the top ball winner with 23 disposals, four marks, six clearances, four inside 50s, seven tackles and one goal, while Castle was not far behind with 22 touches, five marks – one contested – two clearances and three rebounds. Ewings had a match-high nine inside 50s working the ball brilliantly on the outside to go with her 17 touches, five marks – one contested – and three tackles. Amber Ward was reliable in defence with 16 disposals, five tackles, two rebounds and two inside 50s, while Kristi Harvey had an equal team-high four rebounds to go with 10 touches. Aside from Daniel, Leah Tynan had the most clearances with four, as well as 13 disposals and three tackles. In total, the Roosters had a massive 14 players reach double-figure disposals as they shared the ball around, and arguably what made the huge win more impressive was the fact that last year’s leading goalkicker, Kelly Barltrop was a non-factor in the contest with six touches and one behind.

Central had six players that were in double figures for disposals, with Georgia Madigan leading the way with 13, as well as three marks, three tackles and three inside 50s, while Demi Sonneman had 12 disposals – all kicks – coming out of defence as well as two marks, two tackles and three rebounds. Danielle Stewart (12 disposals, five clearances) worked hard in midfield, while Jayme-Lee Sonneman (three clearances), Shelby Smith (two) and Lauren Smith (two) were the other main midfield extractors. Kimberley Fry held up well under pressure in defence with eight touches and four rebounds, while Amber James provided a presence in the forward half with eight disposals, two marks – one contested – and four inside 50s.

There was little doubt that North Adelaide has its sights set on a premiership this year, with a number of its rivals losing players to the AFL Women’s competitions. While the Roosters also suffered some departures, they are primed for a huge attack on 2020 and would have to be premiership favourites at this stage. While no doubt the loss will sting for the Bulldogs, they have just witnessed the benchmark of the competition, and there will be some good and bad weeks throughout the season, but they have a consistent side across the park and have a great chance of bouncing back against Glenelg next week. The Roosters will take on the Bloods in a top of the table clash not to be missed.

SANFL Women’s preview: Round 2 – Bulldogs and Roosters lock claws in standalone Saturday game

AT least one team will suffer its first loss in Round 2, while another will get on the board with its first win in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition, as a blockbuster Friday night is planned across two venues. The undefeated clash between Central District and North Adelaide then takes place on Saturday morning in what could be a blockbuster match.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. GLENELG
Friday, February 21, 6.30pm
Hisense Stadium

Opening up the second round of the SANFL Women’s is a clash between two sides with differing results from the opening round of action. Glenelg went down to North Adelaide by 24 points at X Convenience Oval on the back of conceding six consecutive goals, while West Adelaide ran out 21-point winners over Sturt in the game immediately after that contest. Looking across both games, Glenelg had the much higher efficiency, running at 73 per cent in a match that was higher skilled against the Roosters, while the Westies had a 61 per cent efficiency against Sturt, but got the job done. The Tigers dominated the hitouts (+8) and clearances (+7) but lost the inside 50s (-2) and booted 2.10 for the match in a disappointing effort in front of goal. Had it been 10.2 instead, the Tigers win by 16 points. The Bloods were well beaten in the hitouts (-13) but completely dismantled Sturt in the clearances (+15) and inside 50s (+11), while also laying more tackles (+10). One area the Bloods would want to improve on from Round 1 was the opposition’s uncontested ball movement, with Sturt taking 46 marks to 20. What the Round 1 matches tell us is that Glenelg need to make more of its chances inside 50, and limit the influence of West Adelaide’s superb onball division, which included Abbie Ballard – who led the league in disposals with 27 – and Rachelle Martin who both form a damaging contested-ball duo. Glenelg should get first hands to the ball at stoppages with Soriah Moon playing well on debut, and recording more hitouts than the entire West Adelaide side. But with Ballard and Martin combining for 14 hitouts – and ruck Kate Walsh even recording four, it is a tough midfield to combat. Glenelg will rely on the likes of Madisyn Freeman to push up the grounds at times, winning an equal team-high four clearances last week, and if the likes of Sam Franson (two behinds) and Molly Althouse (four marks, two contested) can start to have an impact up forward, then they will be a damaging forward six to combat. Keely Kustermann looked settled last week and covers a lot of ground, while Lauren Rodato is a consistent player in defence for the Bloods. Up forward, Kasia Culhane and Melanie Elsegood both scored multiple goals, and Elsegood could have had a real day out if she put through a few more of her five chances (2.3). West Adelaide will start favourites in this clash due to the onball and forward talent, but Glenelg’s loss last week was not as bad as it might appear on the surface, and it is about taking chances in Round 2.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. STURT
Friday, February 21, 7pm
Flinders University Stadium

These two teams also come into this clash with different results from Round 1, but both sides would know they can improve on their output from those respective matches. South Adelaide pulled off the great escape against Woodville-West Torrens, while Sturt suffered a disappointing defeat at the hands of West Adelaide. In that game, the double Blues were well beaten around the contest with the clearances (-15) and the inside 50s (-11) going the way of the Bloods. This all came despite Sturt winning almost double West Adelaide’s hitouts (+13). The area where Sturt impressed was in its outside ball as the Double Blues took 26 more marks (more than double) and had a solid 68 per cent disposal efficiency, playing a kick-first gamestyle. South Adelaide plays a possession-style brand of football, racking up 33 more disposals than the Eagles in Round 1, nullifying the opposition’s ability to get ball to boot with a low kick-to-handball ratio. The Panthers are great at shutting down the outside run, with the Eagles only taking 18 marks to South Adelaide’s 37, while the Panthers also won the hitouts (+4), clearances (+9) and inside 50s (+6). Despite all this going the reigning premiers way, they won by just four points, and it was the defensive pressure of the Eagles that forced them to overuse the ball, and also the visitors’ inaccuracy that helped the Panthers get home. South Adelaide is an incredible side and it will be expected to put out a similar effort against Sturt in shutting down the outside run and making more chances in front of goal. With Montana McKinnon potentially heading back to AFL Women’s after being named in the extend squad, Sturt will have a advantage in the ruck, and the Double Blues’ defensive setup is quite solid, but they cannot afford to be beaten out of the middle again. Stephanie Ratliff and Zoe Prowse were impressive in the ruck last week, with the mobile Prowse also doing her part around the stoppages. Georgia Bevan and Maya Rigter (five combined clearances last week) will have to step up again in this contest, with South Adelaide having the likes of Indy Tahau (eight clearances), Czenya Cavouras (six) and Teah Charlton (four) all standing out as a dominant trio in there. Rachel Dunstan and Hannah Prenzler were able to work hard defensively, with Prenzler picking up two rebounds and seven marks against the Bloods to hold up in the defensive 50. Along with Alysha Healy and Aajiah Jerico, it will be important for the visiting side to hold up back there and drive the ball forward against an unpredictable forward line. South gets a lot of goals out of its midfield, and once it wins the ball, it is hard to stop it being locked in the Panthers’ forward half. Expect South Adelaide to come out firing, with so much depth in its side, but if Sturt can make more of its ruck dominance, then the Double Blues can try and up the tempo and play keepings-off.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS vs. NORWOOD
Friday, February 21, 8.15pm
Hisense Stadium

Yet to have a win in their short history, Woodville-West Torrens Eagles would be seeing this Friday night clash as a real chance to breakthrough and record a ‘W’. The Eagles came agonisingly close to causing a boilover against reigning premiers South Adelaide on the road, and now take on a Norwood side still finding its feet after so much change in the off-season. With a brand new midfield brigade, the Redlegs still looked solid, but will be better for the run during the loss against Central District last week. Norwood had an extra scoring shot than the Bulldogs, and played their traditional possession style game with 33 more disposals and 30 more marks – including seven more contested – but were not able to capitalise on their inside 50 entries (+7). The Central defence was able to pick-off the attacking forays with eight more rebounds and 16 more tackles. Norwood’s ruck, Leah Cutting is the best in the business and dominated the Bulldogs with 21 more hitouts and that helped the Redlegs win three more clearances too – an area that could further improve considering that ruck work dominance. The Eagles will have seen the pressure that Central applied to the Redlegs and bring much of the same, laying 14 more tackles than the Panthers, and three more rebounds. They will need to make more of their opportunities count as well, booting just three goals from nine scoring chances in Round 1, and you cannot afford to do that every week. The Eagles are not a huge disposal-winning team, but instead have that shared brand of football where everyone plays their role and it seemed to be effective for the most part against a highly-credentialed Panthers side last week. Youngster, Tesharna Maher recorded six rebounds in the loss last round, while Allison Evans had three as the pair patrolled the backline. In the middle, Teagan Usher had a team-high four clearances, but the Eagles will need to muster up more of those by sharking the opposition ruck. The tackling pressure is something that the Eagles had no problems bringing, with Evans and Sophie Zuill both laying eight, and Adele Gibson having a team-high four inside 50s. Kiana Lee was quiet on the scoreboard last week but will be better for the run, taking three contested marks and signalling her intent in the air. In the absence of a number of midfielders who made the step up to AFL Women’s this season, Matilda Zander picked up a game-high 20 touches against the Bulldogs last week, well aided by Alison Ferrall (15) and Lindsay Bigg (14). Mattea Breed was also important in that midfield group with three clearances and four inside 50s, while Jo Hill made the most of her chances up forward with two goals. Sophie Armitstead was the leading clearance worker, and while the Redlegs midfield is still developing, they have the talent to make more opportunities from Cutting’s dominance. Norwood have the runs on the board over past years, but the Eagles arguably looked more impressive last week. It will be an absolute blinder of a game.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, February 22, 11.30am
X Convenience Oval

The only game in Round 2 that features two Round 1 winners is between the sides that finished second and second last, in 2019. A much improved Central District team outlasted last year’s minor premiers Norwood in a nice little upset to start 2020, while North Adelaide booted six consecutive goals to run out four-goal winners over Glenelg and now sit top of the table. In that win, the Roosters actually had five less disposals and seven less tackles, but were so efficient with their scoring accuracy, capitalising on more chances than the Tigers’ 2.10. North lost both the hitouts (-8) and clearances (-7) but rebounded well to win the inside 50 count (+2) and overall were a more efficient side going forward. They will need to continue that throughout the season, because as impressive as the win was, the Roosters can still improve further. The Bulldogs also had less disposals for greater efficiency which makes this an intriguing match. Central had 33 less touches than Norwood in the win last round, and were beaten on the outside with 30 less marks. But the Bulldogs made more of their chances inside 50 and tackled their way to victory (+16). They were smashed in the ruck (-21) and lost the clearances (-3) and inside-50 (-7) counts, but the Bulldogs defence held firm under the attacks with eight more rebounds. The Bulldogs will not be afraid to make it a contested game, with Shelby Smith (20 touches, five clearances and three tackles) leading the way in Round 1, while Jaymee-Lee Sonneman and Lauren Smith both had the three clearances. Demi Sonneman, Kimberley Fry and Abbey Scheer were reliable in defence with a combined 12 clearances, and then Katelyn Rosenzweig was the dominant force up forward with four goals from five scoring chances and seven disposals. North Adelaide has its own goal-scoring machine in Kelly Barltrop, with last year’s leading goalkicker booting two goals in the Round 1 win to start her season off on the right note, while Cristie Castle was sensational across the ground with 17 touches, six marks (three contested), five clearances, four inside 50s and a goal. Hannah Ewings won the Breakthrough Player for Round 1 after the 16-year-old won 12 disposals and four marks, and also booted a goal on debut. Kristi Harvey will likely have the tough job of containing Rosenzweig in the match, while the likes of Lauren Daniel and Amber Ward provide the offensive run out of the back half. North Adelaide have the experience in big games and go in deserving favourites, but the Bulldogs look to have built on last season and will be up for the fight.

Weekend preview: SANFL Women’s – Round 3

IN Round 3 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s league, the most improved sides in the competition will test themselves against some of the best last season, while the two newcomers face off.

GLENELG vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
March 1, 6.30pm
City Mazda Stadium

The two teams in our first SANFL Women’s Round 3 game had different seasons in 2018, with Glenelg claiming the wooden spoon in a disappointing year, while North Adelaide looked every bit a premiership contender, finishing second before bowing out in the preliminary final. In 2019, their seasons have been different for the opposite reasons as Glenelg has managed to string two on the trot – albeit against the two new sides of the competition. For North Adelaide, after a Round 1 loss to their preliminary final conquerors Norwood, the Roosters bounced back with a seven-point win over Sturt. North Adelaide was made to work for it, booting three goals to zero in the third term to come from behind thanks to a five-goal Kelly Barltrop haul. On the other hand, Glenelg always looked in control, leading at each break and restricting the Bulldogs to just one goal in the first three terms, before recording a comfortable 5.7 to 3.2 victory. In season 2019, Roosters captain Nadia Von Bertouch is in the top five for disposals, averaging 17.5 touches from her two games, while Paige Allen is the next highest with 12.5 disposals per game. The Roosters will be in search of finding a more even spread of goalkickers in Round 3, having a low-scoring loss to the Redlegs in Round 1, before Barltrop did all the damage in Round 2. For the Tigers, Lucy Bellinger has been a prominent ball winner in season 2019, averaging 16.5 disposals per game, while Ellen Fauser (15.5) and Elle Kellock (14.5) have also been prolific. Key targets inside 50, Bellinger and Hannah Crump have kicked five goals between them in season 2019 and will look to do more damage this round, while Sam Franson and Fauser have also booted multiple goals this season. Despite ladder positions this could be a huge game with the Roosters capable of defeating anyone on their day, while the Tigers are clearly an improved outfit in season 2019.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
March 1, 6.30pm
Coopers Stadium

In one of the most anticipated matches of 2019, the two brand new sides will battle it out at Coopers Stadium to try and get on the board this season. Central District lost by 20 points in Round 1 and 17 last week against West Adelaide and Glenelg respectively. The Eagles were overwhelmed in Round 1 when they went down to the Tigers by 35 points, before Adelaide forward, Sarah Perkins helped the Eagles to only just miss out on four points against the Bloods. In terms of changes, the Bulldogs made the one confirmed change with Renai Richardson going out of the side, while Alicia Butler, Megan Boers, Lauren Smith and Demi Sonneman were all named on an extended interchange. For the Eagles, they have rolled the dice with four confirmed changes as Abby Pengelly, Hannah Scholar, Jo-Anna Baltais and Tesharna Maher were named as outs, while Chloe Forby, Natalie Subelli, Shae Pacifico Hart, Zahn Anthony and Courtney Jonson were named back in the side. This season both sides have had some impressive individual performances. Both Perkins and Kiana Lee have booted three goals so far this season, while Jaimi Tabb has two majors. In terms of possessions, Tabb leads the side with 17.5 just ahead of Stephanie Walker (16.5), Madeleine Dufek (16.0) and Georgia Taylor and Maher (15.0). For Central, Danielle Stewart (17 possessions), Hannah Pavlovich (15) and Jayme-Lee Sonneman (13) are the three players in double figures, while Katelyn Rosenzweig has booted 2.4 in her two games this season for her new side. The Eagles will go in as favourites after a promising game last week, but the Bulldogs will be keen to assert themselves against a fellow newcomer.

NORWOOD vs. STURT
March 1, 8.25pm
Coopers Stadium

The second game at Coopers Stadium sees the in-form Norwood taking on the winless, but improving Sturt. The Redlegs passed an important challenge last week by disposing of reigning premiers South Adelaide, while the Double Blues just fell short of victory against North Adelaide in Round 2. Norwood could take top spot if both Glenelg and West Adelaide lose – both sides are playing two of the top three last year – so a win here is important. The two points are even more important for Sturt, with a win keeping them in contention of the top four. Norwood have brought two players into the extended side with Jiarna Zerella and Emma Clark both named, while Sturt have made two direct changes as Holly Temby and Maisie Nankivell come into the side for Brooke-Lee Chaplin and Sophie Yeates. Hannah Dunn is the leading ball winner in the SANFL Women’s competition at 23 possessions per game, one ahead of teammate Najwa Allen and West Adelaide’s Maddi Newman. Sturt’s Georgia Bevan has also been busy around the stoppages, averaging 18 touches in her two games so far. On the scoreboard front, Allen has been the most accurate player in the competition, slotting 4.0 in her two games, the only multiple goalkicker for the Redlegs. For Sturt, Lauren Lovell and Caitlyn Swanson both have two goals apiece to lead the Double Blues’ goalkicking. In the history of the SANFL Women’s Sturt is yet to defeat Norwood, so will hope to turn the tables in this game. Both of Norwood’s wins this season have seen the Redlegs come from behind at one break with the South Adelaide win following a seven-point quarter time deficit, and a three quarter time two-point deficit saw Norwood run over the top of North Adelaide. Sturt has been on the receiving end, having led South by four points at quarter time and North by five points at half-time. Norwood heads into the game as strong favourites given the Redlegs’ record, but you can never discount the Double Blues who have shown promising signs in the past rounds.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
March 1, 8.25pm
City Mazda Stadium

In the final game of the round, West Adelaide takes on its South counterparts, in what could be a big game for gaining momentum early in the season. The Bloods are undefeated having disposed of the two new sides to the competition, while the Panthers went down to Norwood last week after a victory against Sturt in Round 1. The Bloods have brought in five players on an extended interchange bench with Kelly Whittaker, Phoebe Edwards, Lauren Rodato, Melanie Elsegood and Georgie Pater coming in for Helen Maidment, Alexandra Czabayski and Jacalyn Pickering. The listed changes for Sturt feature a huge inclusion with big ball winner, Nikki Gore returning to the side with Mykala Walker-Murphy, Elyse Haussen, and debutants Caitlin Radbone and Emily Brockhurst, while Lauren Buchanan was unavailable for the clash and both Natalie Gibbs and Emogen Johnson were omitted. Looking at the season so far, West Adelaide’s Maddi Newman has been the most prominent ball winner in the game, averaging 22 touches per game ahead of Abbie Ballard (16.5). For the Panthers, Czenya Cavouras has averaged 17 possessions per game, while bottom-agers Hannah Munyard (16.5) and Montana McKinnon (15.5) have also been prominent. In the goalkicking stakes, Chelsea Biddell‘s six majors last week helped her side get over the line, while for South Adelaide, Teah Charlton leads the team with three majors this season. This game looms as a thrilling contest because South Adelaide has more runs on the board as reigning premiers, but the Bloods are still undefeated and will be confident heading into the game.