Tag: leah swain

SANFL Women’s preview: Round 1 – Triple header on Saturday the highlight

AFTER a long wait, the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition has returned with the eight sides battling it out for a chance at the title. Six of the eight teams have lost players to the AFL Women’s competition, with Norwood and South Adelaide the hardest hit. The Panthers begin their premiership defence against last year’s wooden spooners at home, while a triple header greets the remaining six teams at X Convenience Oval on Saturday.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
Friday, February 14, 7pm
Flinders University Stadium

The standalone game on Friday night sees the opposite ends of the ladder from last season face off. South Adelaide will be able to unfurl its 2019 premiership flag – possibly alongside its 2018 one – as it welcomes 2019 wooden spooners Woodville-West Torrens to Flinders University Stadium. Last season this match might have been considered a no-brainer, and considering the occasion, the Panthers will head in as heavy favourites. However the Eagles will be better prepared in 2020 than 12 months ago, so it will be fascinating to see how they fare this season.

To make the match balance more towards the equilibrium is the fact the Panthers have lost a number of quality players to the AFL Women’s competition. Montana McKinnon and Nicole Campbell were both drafted to Adelaide and could still play games at state level, though with their talent and the Crows’ injury crisis, it will not always be the case. Hannah Munyard was picked up by the Western Bulldogs, while Cheyenne Hammond has already donned the red and gold up in the Sunshine State for the SUNS, so neither will feather this year for the reigning premiers. Aside from the four exits, six others have departed the club, meaning the turnover will see a very different line-up in 2020. Three former Panthers have returned to the club with Louella McCarthy (St Kilda VFLW), Lucy Northcott (knee) and Nicole Mark (maternity leave) all coming in, as well Tahlia Meyer crossing from rivals Norwood.

The Eagles have also lost a number of players, predominantly to SANFL Women’s rivals with Hannah Scholar and Taylor Hand heading to the Bloods, Jo Baltias, Rachel Dunstan and Aajiah Jerico to Sturt. The two biggest losses could be Natasha Farrier heading to ice hockey, and AFL Women’s Under-18 All Australian member Jaimi Tabb drafted to the Crows. She has already made her debut at AFL Women’s level, but could feature at some point depending on the Crows’ selection. Three players have joined the Eagles, with Rebecca Catterall coming over from Central District, Ali Evans from West Adelaide and Nicole Collie from North Adelaide which should provide some fresh faces on the field.

Both McKinnon and Campbell have been named in the Crows’ side for Round 2, with the Panthers unveiling as many nine new players named in the extended side. The Eagles also have plenty of fresh faces, with seven players coming in, while Tabb has been named in the center, though is also named in the Crows’ side on the extended bench. The young forward line duo of Kiana Lee and Teagan Usher will be one to watch, while up the other end, Teah Charlton is South Australia’s top Under-18 talent and will be one who can break a game open and with the likes of Czenya Cavouras and Indy Tahau in the midfield, expect the Panthers to be a bit too strong.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. GLENELG
Saturday, February 15, 10.40am
X Convenience Oval

Opening up the first of a triple header at X Convenience Oval are two finalists from last year going head-to-head in what is predicted to be the match of the round. Both these sides have lost talent to the AFL Women’s so will look to their depth in order to provide the same impact at SANFL Women’s level. The Roosters went all the way to the SANFL Women’s Grand Final last season before falling to the Panthers – knocking out an Ebony Marinoff-inspired Tigers’ outfit on the way through to the deciding match. Glenelg looked down and out with a few weeks remaining in the season, but found the will to not give in, winning the last few matches and qualifying for fourth spot by pipping West Adelaide at the post.

In 2020, the Tigers will be without a couple of talls in Caitlin Gould and Lucy Bellinger, both of whom provided good presence around the ground and an ability to hit the scoreboard. With Brooke Trevena and Ellen Fauser also unavailable due to maternity leave, the Tigers will be short a few of the players that really them reach the post-season series. South Adelaide duo, Emily Woods and Grace Duffy will provide some great insight from the back-to-back premiers and earn more game time in the yellow and black, while Rachel Aistrope and Jessica Bates are two players who have come into the side after impressing at lower levels. They showed last season they have the defensive structures to keep sides to low scores, and if they can continue that blueprint into this season it will hold them in good stead.

For the Roosters, they have also been hit hard by their success with two of their best players heading up to the elite level and will not feature at this level again in 2020. Nadia Von Bertouch – who unfortunately did her knee on debut for St Kilda and will miss the season – was a natural leader, captaining the side to the grand final, while Brittany Perry has already had an influence for the SUNS up there. The Roosters have lost further experience with the retirements of Jane Altschwager and Emma Sampson, while Elysha Willis has turned her attention to her netball. A big including for the side will be the return of Kristi Harvey who impressed in her time at Carlton VFLW, joining the likes of Panther Mollie McKendrick, Blood Taylor Gordon and Redleg Stana Zecevic and Northern Territory’s Elise Fenna making the trip down.

The Roosters have opted for Harvey to hold down full-back in this match, with last year’s leading goalkicker, Kelly Barltrop the other bookend. She is hard to stop when on song, and with Cristie Castle, Ashleigh Woodland and Amber Ward rounding out the spine, the Roosters are predicted to be very strong again. Of all the players to run out in the red and white, it would be hard for anyone to beat 38-year-old Bek Rasheed‘s story. The daughter of club great and games record holder Mick Redden, Rasheed will make her debut at the club as starting ruck with the 42 guernsey that her father wore over his 379 games. Looking over Glenelg’s Round 1 side, youngster Madisyn Freeman will be a key talent coming off half-back, joining forces with Lucy Armitage in defence, while Sam Franson up the other end could apply some scoreboard pressure. Despite the departures, North still seems like a genuine contender so will start as favourite here.

STURT vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Saturday, February 15, 12.25pm
X Convenience Oval

Last year’s fifth and sixth go at it in the second game at X Convenience Oval with the Double Blues taking on the Bloods. West Adelaide came agonisingly close to finals in 2019 but were narrowly shafted in the final round as the Tigers leapt up and claimed fourth. Sturt on the other hand showed signs early in the season – including a low-scoring win over Glenelg – but were ultimately not able to roll anyone else other than the two expansion sides in other matches. Of all sides heading into the new season, Sturt has been relatively untouched in terms of departures, while the Bloods also have a number of additions likely to strengthen its squad to make a run at the finals in 2020.

Sturt only has two confirmed departures from last season, with Lilla Berry and Della Griffith travelling overseas and focusing on other sports respectively. The Double Blues were one of only two sides – with Central District – not to lose a player to the AFL Women’s competition through the draft. They have managed to pick up some of the Eagles’ depth in Baltias, Dunstan and Jerico, while finding a couple of X-factors in cross-coders, Ally Ladas (soccer) and Stephanie Ratliff (basketball). Louise Firth makes the step up to the SANFL Women’s from Scotch Old Collegians, and then there’s an extra year of development into the Double Blues’ youngsters such as Zoe Prowse. Based on the changes to the list, the experience gained and the inclusions, Sturt could move up in the right direction with a number of its rivals losing quality players over the off-season.

For the Westies, Madison Newman and Chelsea Biddell were both drafted into the AFL Women’s in last year’s draft and will only be available when not running around with the Crows. Much like the other draftees, based on Adelaide’s lengthy injury list and the fact that some like Newman had outstanding debuts, you cannot expect them to always be available for state league level. Evans is one of three others to depart the club with Gordon heading north and the experienced Leah Swain off due to maternity leave. Coming into the team is a couple of Eagles in Hand and Scholar, as well as Norwood’s Zoe Greer and returning from NT Thunder, Rachael Killian. Her experience from the VFL Women’s competition will be important and expect her to player a crucial role. Kate Walsh is the other addition to the side, coming up from SMOSH West Lakes to try her hand at the top level in South Australia.

Five players will make their debuts in the Double Blues, while former Eagle Dunstan has been named in the back pocket. The midfield combination of Georgia Bevan and Maya Rigter will make it challenging for the opposition, while Alex Ballard and Lucy Griffith have been named on opposing wings. They take on Greer, youngster Abbie Ballard and Rachelle Martin onball, with the latter of whom has one of the more interesting footballing stories already this year. She got the chance to represent the Crows at the elite level in Round 1 due to the mounting injury toll, and no doubt that experience will hold her in good stead here. West Adelaide will likely be favourite for the depth across the ground such as full-forward Melanie Elsegood who can help kick a winning score, but this is predicted to be the best game of the round.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. NORWOOD
Saturday, February 15, 2.10pm
X Convenience Oval

The game fans at X Convenience Oval will be waiting for is the return to the SANFL Women’s competition of Central District. The only side playing at its home ground during the triple header, the Bulldogs will hope to improve on their seventh placed finish in 2019 with a tough challenge up first. The Redlegs have been one of the most successful teams in the SANFL Women’s era, having won a flag then finishing runner-up and claiming the minor premiership last year before a semi-final exit. They always find a way to be there at the pointy end of the season, though 2020 will provide a new challenge given the amount of departures – including a change of coach – as talent breeds talent.

From the Bulldogs’ perspective, just Catterall (Woodville-West Torrens) and Courtney Jensen (work) have departed the club, with a quartet of relatively unknown quantities coming into the club from the next tier down in South Australian football. Abbie Thomas, Shelby Smith, Madison Kalleske and Hannah Bevington have opted to don the red, white and blue for season 2020 and while they might not have SANFL Women’s experience, the Bulldogs are growing a good young list to compete over the next few seasons.

Norwood on the other hand, has had a high turnover of players due to its successful few years, led by last year’s league best and fairest winner, Najwa Allen drafted by the Crows. Hannah Dunn has already made her debut for Gold Coast SUNS, as has Hannah Priest at St Kilda, while Ebony O’Dea joined former coach Steve Symonds at Collingwood through the AFL Women’s Draft. These departures coupled with the fact Monique Hollick has headed overseas for work, Jane Fitzgerald has retired and a trio of others have left in search of an increased role means the Redlegs will be a very different looking outfit in 2020. Chloe Meyer has joined the club from the Simon Black Academy, while Georgia Avery and Shanae Walker are another couple of inclusions to try and replace those out of the side.

The Bulldogs will head into the new season confident they can cause an upset against a new-look Norwood side. With Katelyn Rosenzweig up forward, the Sonneman sisters (Demi and Jayme-Lee) down back with Kimberley Fry, they will likely benefit from last year’s experience. For the Redlegs, they still have talent all across the park, but the midfield is largely different to its dominant one from last season, with Elisha Gallagher, young star Bella Smith and Michele Reid now replacing Allen, Dunn and O’Dea. Sophie Armistead will help hold down defence with Jo Hill to try and contain the dangerous Bulldogs’ forwards. This is an intriguing game because the Redlegs have the depth from last season to still compete, but it will almost be like being a brand new side again, while Central has remained relatively the same which should excite fans going forward.

SANFL Women’s 2020 team preview: West Adelaide

IN the next of our South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s team preview, we take a look at West Adelaide, a side that came agonisingly close to a finals appearance, but was pipped at the post by an Ebony Marinoff-inspired Glenelg.

2019 BY THE NUMBERS:

Position: 5th
Wins: 6
Losses: 4
For: 298
Against: 347
Percentage: 85.9%

 

2020 CHANGES

(as per Zak Milbank’s article on the SANFL site)

IN: Rachael Killian (returned/NT Thunder), Zoe Greer (Norwood), Taylor Hand (Woodville-West Torrens), Hannah Scholar (Woodville-West Torrens), Kate Walsh (SMOSH West Lakes).
OUT: Madison Newman (Adelaide AFLW), Chelsea Biddell (Adelaide AFLW), Tayla Gordon (North Adelaide), Ali Evans (Woodville-West Torrens), Leah Swain (maternity leave/Melbourne).

 

FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH

Madison Newman / Chelsea Biddell

Similar to our South Adelaide preview, we have included both Newman and Biddell as ones to watch purely because though they departed the club for AFL Women’s, they did land at Adelaide which gives them a chance to still run out with the Bloods in the upcoming season. Newman finished top five in disposals last year and was a revelation in the back half, while Biddell was the club’s leading goalkicker. While it is hoped they can both make an impact at AFL Women’s level – especially given the Crows’ recent run with injuries – the club would love to have them back, even if it is only a few games towards the back-end of the season.

Abbie Ballard

The teenager is entering her draft year and the now top-ager will look to take over from Newman as the key talent through the midfield group with the more experienced, Rachelle Martin. Ballard showed a fierce tenacity to attack the contest and despite her size – 159cm – she won double-figure disposals on all bar one occasion to average 16.1 per game to go with her 4.1 clearances, 5.4 tackles and 2.1 inside 50s. Her final game of the season in the loss to South Adelaide saw Ballard rack up 24 touches, three marks, five tackles, six clearances and five rebounds in a superb effort leaving fans excited for what could come in 2020.

Rachael Killian

One of the bigger inclusions across the SANFL Women’s competition for 2020, the 174cm midfielder is still only 25-years-old but has premiership experience at the highest level, playing in the inaugural AFL Women’s premiership side with Adelaide. Last season she played three games with NT Thunder, where she averaged more than 10 touches per game. She should slot straight into the midfield and be that extra hand around the stoppages, not afraid to lay a tackle and then go forward and find the goals. A handy player to have running around for the Bloods.

Rachelle Martin

After an unbelievable 2018 SANFL Women’s season where she was one of the most dominant ball winners in the competition, Martin was restricted to just four games due to injury in 2020. She made them count, averaging 19.8 disposals, 6.8 tackles, three clearances, three marks and 2.3 inside 50s. She also managed to boot a goal in two of her games, and did play the last three of the season, Unfortunately it took her a few weeks to get back to her best and by then the season was over. Could stake a claim as one of the best ball-winning state players and is almost a new inclusion into last year’s side. If she stays fit will be an unbelievable talent in that on-ball brigade.

Melanie Elsegood

Finished second overall in the club goalkicking last season, slotting 10 goals in nine games for the Westies. With Biddell potentially no longer inside 50, Elsegood has free reign to be the dominant target for her club, and she has to stand up and deliver this year. Not a huge ball winner, Elsegood is someone reliable to hit the scoreboard, doing so in seven of her nine games, including a bag of three to open the season, and two goals to finish it. One who could benefit from the permanent inclusions of Martin and Killian.

FIXTURE

1 vs. Sturt
2 vs. Glenelg
3 vs. North Adelaide
4 vs. Norwood
5 vs. WWT Eagles
6 vs. Sturt
7 vs. South Adelaide
8 vs. Central District
9 vs. Norwood
10 vs. South Adelaide

West Adelaide could be one of the more unknown quantities in the competition. The Bloods came close to finals last year, and while they have lost a number of key players, have brought in quite a few talents at the same time. If they play to their potential, the Westies could sneak into the top four and play finals. They face a tough draw however, with double-ups against reigning premiers South Adelaide – both in the last four weeks – and Norwood, as well as Sturt. Realistically need to win quite a few early to make finals a possibility, but have faith because in patches they looked impressive last season.

Weekend preview: SANFL Women’s – Round 10

AFTER an entertaining nine rounds, everything comes down to the final week with five teams attempting to squeeze into four in what is set to be an entertaining Round 10 of football in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition. The only guarantee is Norwood has locked up the minor premiership, with a double-chance on offer for North Adelaide with a win, and a loss to South Adelaide, who will have stiff opposition in West Adelaide with Bloods having to win to book a finals place. Their poor percentage means a loss will certainly see them drop out of the four assuming Glenelg can topple the winless Woodville-West Torrens. For the Eagles, Sturt and Central District, they cannot make finals, but they can certainly shape the top four if they throw spanners in the works with upsets.

STURT vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Saturday May 4, 10.45am
Peter Motley Oval

In the first game on Saturday, the only guarantee is that North Adelaide will play finals, and Sturt will not. With a massive percentage of 184, the Roosters have been the dominant scoring team since being 1-3 after four rounds. They have strung together five straight wins, albeit against lower sides, and this is no different with a match against the bottom three side Sturt. With all bottom three sides facing finals hopefuls, it will be a tough ask for them to get up and cause an upset, meaning Sturt will likely finish six ahead of the two newcomers. A win would be a just reward for the Double Blues’ efforts this season, but there is much more on the line for North Adelaide. If the Roosters win, and West Adelaide cause an upset against the Panthers, and North Adelaide slides into second spot, and the double chance. The Roosters percentage is better than South Adelaide, but are a game behind and therefore must win to take the spot. If Glenelg does make it into the finals series, it will mean the Roosters are surrounded by the only three teams they have lost to, but they were incredibly close contests. The last time North Adelaide and Sturt faced off was in Round 2, with the Roosters getting the win in a seven-point contest. It was North Adelaide’s only victory in the first four rounds, while Sturt had to wait until Round 5 for its first triumph. In the Round 2 clash, Roosters’ captain Nadia Von Bertouch lead from the front with 20 disposals, four marks, four clearances and six inside 50s, while Kelly Barltrop announced herself as a genuine leading goalkicker this season with five straight snags from six kicks. For Sturt, Georgia Bevan was her characteristic dominant self, picking up 24 touches as well as eight clearances, three inside 50s and two rebounds. Looking ahead to this weekend, both sides have been forced to make a couple of changes with Ashleigh Woodland injured and Julia Clark unavailable for North, while for Sturt, Jess Schulz and Casey Fraser will miss the Double Blues’ final game of the season. Into the underdogs side comes forwards, Zoe Prowse and Holly Temby, while Paige Allan is a massive inclusion for the Roosters for an already brimming midfield. The midfield battle will be the highlight of the game, with Bevan, Maya Rigter and Caitlyn Swanson going head-to-head with the likes of Allan, Brittany Perry and Kat Reynolds. The Roosters’ forward line is dynamic and hard to stop, with Barltrop leading the way, although Cristie Castle and Leah Tynan have both been able to find avenues to go, and the likes of Paxton Davis-Mattner and Hannah Prenzler will be keen to restrict those players. Up the other end of the ground, Georgia Swan, Nicole Baker and Alex Ballard can cause their own headaches for the Roosters’ defence. but Amber Ward has been as consistent as they come this season, so look to her for plenty of rebound, whereas the Double Blues will be keen to shut her down in this match. North Adelaide have to be overwhelming favourites in this game. The Roosters could take second with a win, but could also drop to fourth with a loss, so everything is on the line, and as far and away the highest scoring team, they should have too much firepower for the Double Blues.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. NORWOOD
Saturday May 4, 12.20pm
Alberton Oval

The second game of the round pits minor premiers Norwood up against Central District at Alberton Oval at a touch just after midday. It is the only game of the round that does not have a bearing on the finals race, with Norwood having locked up top spot a couple of weeks ago, and could even afford to lose to second placed South Adelaide in Round 9. If there is anything we have come to know about champion teams that have a rare loss, it is that they are fully determined to atone for that loss the next week, which could spell trouble for the Bulldogs. Central District could jump ahead of Sturt with a victory, but cannot fall lower than seventh on the table, safe in the knowledge that fellow newcomer to the competition, Woodville-West Torrens has taken out the wooden spoon for season 2019. These two teams do not have to look far to find the last time they faced off, with the Round 7 match going comfortably the way of the Redlegs. After keeping touch with them in the ladder leaders in the first half, Central District eventually relented as Norwood piled on six consecutive goals before the Bulldogs booted their second major, resulting in a 38-point win to the favourites. Najwa Allen suffered a bout of leather poisoning on the day, racking up 30 touches as well as nine marks, two clearances, three inside 50s, two rebounds and 2.2 in a best afield performance. Hannah Dunn and Monique Hollick both had 22 touches and combined for 13 marks and eight inside 50s, while Central’s Jayme-Lee Sonneman did all she could in the ruck with 17 hitouts and eight clearances to go with 13 disposals. Gemma Doughty (13 disposals, four rebounds) and Shannen Solly (12 disposals, three rebounds) also stood up in defence for the losing side. Heading into this match, Central has made at least four changes, with Laitiah Huynh – the Bulldogs’ highest disposal winner in these sides’ last match – back into the team, while Norwood has lost Alison Ferrall to injury, with Jane Fitzgerald coming into a forward pocket. The game may lack the finals-defining quality of the other games over the weekend, but the Redlegs will still have plenty to focus on, finishing the season on a high and heading into a clash with either South Adelaide – who the Redlegs lost to in Round 9 – or the red-hot scoring machine that is North Adelaide. Either way Norwood will have a tough task and will be keen to take care of business in this game. It is spoken about each week in this preview, but the ridiculous depth in the Redlegs midfield is sensational with Allen, Hollick and Dunn, as well as former Adelaide midfielder, Sally Riley, as well as Hannah Priest, Tahlia Meyer and Sophie Armitstead rolling through there. Matilda Zander and Rhiannon Busch have had some terrific games, while Jo Hill and Bella Smith make up a strong key defensive combination, and Leah Cutting is a dominant ruck. Along with the other top three sides, Norwood has all the hallmarks of a premiership side. Central have the beginnings of a great side, but are not quite there. Katelyn Rosenzweig is a developing key forward, the Sonneman sisters (Jayme-Lee and Demi) are always key players in the side, while Kimberley Fry, Chantel Reynolds and Danielle Stewart have all had their moments throughout 2019. It is almost impossible to look past Norwood in this clash. Everyone is hoping the Bulldogs can finish off their season with a strong performance, although with Norwood casting an eye ahead to the next few weeks in what will be a big finals series, the Redlegs must play with finals intensity so expect them to come away with a comfortable win.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Saturday May 4, 4.15pm
Flinders University Stadium

The most finals-defining game of the round is that between South Adelaide and West Adelaide, for the simple reason that both teams have so much to gain, and to lose by the result. If South Adelaide triumphs, the Panthers secure second spot and a double chance to try and topple Norwood for the second time in three weeks when they face off in the semi-final next weekend. That result would likely see West Adelaide tumble out of the four with Glenelg taking on the winless Woodville-West Torrens. Despite being a win ahead of the Tigers, the Westies have the worst percentage of any finals hopeful, and it is now coming back to bite them. If however, the Bloods can get up in the game, they will secure a finals birth, and, if North Adelaide somehow drops its game wot Sturt, can even take third on the table. In that scenario, South Adelaide would still retain second, but in the much more likely scenario, the Roosters would have their way with the Double Blues, snatching second spot at the expense of the Panthers in the process. So all in all, this game has everything on the line which makes for a fascinating contest. The last time these teams met was back on March 1 in Round 3 when the Panthers got the job done in a 16-point win. Czenya Cavouras was easily best on ground in the win, amassing 29 disposals, and having a whopping nine clearances, five inside 50s and laying 10 tackles. Teah Charlton showed promise as she has all season, racking up 19 disposals and booting a goal alongside Adelaide midfielder, Nikki Gore. Montana McKinnon was superb in the ruck with 23 hitouts, four clearances and five of her seven marks contested. For West Adelaide, Abbie Ballard had a team-high 18 touches, as well as four clearances, three inside 50s and six tackles, while sharp shooter, Chelsea Biddell snagged two majors from 13 disposals and five marks (two contested). Looking ahead to this weekend, on paper, South Adelaide has the stronger side, the depth across the ground is terrific and the midfield up there with Norwood in terms of both ability and depth. They don’t have a dominant forward like some teams, relying on contributions from not only forwards, but midfielders as well. West Adelaide have Biddell who has shown herself to be capable of kicking a bag on her day when she is on fire, but she will not be there to help them in this clash. The Bloods have made at least three changes to their side, with full-back Kelly Whittaker and forward Ashlea Brown among the inclusions to the side with Leah Swain among those out of the team. For the Panthers, they will miss the impact of Lauren Buchanan who did her knee, but will welcome back Emogen Johnson and Brooklyn Kraft to the forward line, and Samantha Pratt into defence. While Ballard and ball magnet Rachelle Martin can be huge influences for their team, the likes of Cavouras, Hannah Munyard, Elyse Haussen and Nicole Campbell form a dominant midfield brigade, and one of the few that can go toe-for-toe with Norwood’s star-studded line-up. For the likes of Charlton, Munyard and McKinnon, they will have the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships coming up over the next couple of months and will be keen to continue their great form, while from a team perspective, will be excited to tackle the imminent finals series. The Bloods know a loss will more than likely mean the end of their season after sitting in the top four for the entire season, which would leave a bitter taste in their mouths. Melanie Elsegood and Emma Smith will be the ones needing to pile scores on the board for the Bloods, while Maddie Newman and Lauren Rodato will hope to provide good rebound out of defence. Helen Maidment and Rebecca Owen can add to the movement in transition on the outside, but face a stiff opposition this weekend. South Adelaide are the team to beat at the moment having slayed the top side last round, but West Adelaide must be respected as they have done enough thus far to put themselves in a position to contend for finals.

GLENELG vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
Saturday May 4, 5.15pm
ACH Group Stadium

The final game of the round is another match with huge consequences for one side, as Glenelg battles to snatch fourth spot. The Tigers need to win against the winless Eagles, who are unable to move off the bottom of the table, but could end their season on a high with their inaugural victory. The biggest problem the Eagles will have in achieving this feat comes in Adelaide Crows star, Ebony Marinoff who simply dominated last week, picking up the most disposals of any player this season, in her debut. She is a class above and will be one that has to be watched and restricted if the Eagles are to be any chance in this match. These two teams first met in Round 1 with Glenelg coming off a wooden spoon but victory in Round 1, and Woodville-West Torrens playing its first match in the competition. Despite hitting the front late in the first quarter courtesy of a Kiana Lee goal, the Eagles were no match for the Tigers as Glenelg piled on six of the last seven goals of the match to record a comfortable 35-point victory. The versatile Lucy Bellinger had 23 disposals, 10 marks (two contested), four inside 50s, five tackles and two goals, while Ellen Fauser and Samantha Franson both booted a goal from 15 disposals. For the Eagles, Jaimi Tabb had a strong performance through the midfield with 17 disposals, five clearances and five inside 50s, while Georgia Taylor played her best game of the season, rebounding the ball nine times while clocking up 17 disposals in the loss. Looking to the final game of the season on Saturday, Hannah Crump and Tamsyn Morriss have been brought in as some extra firepower for the Tigers, with no confirmed outs as of yet. For the Eagles, Rachel Dunstan returns to the side on an extended bench, with Courtney Plowman and Eboni Tiller also named there, while Jo Baltais has slotted into the ruck to allow Taylor McKay to play forward and provide some much needed height inside 50. When looking at the sides on paper, it is hard to look past the influence Marinoff will have, and the importance for the Eagles to send a player to watch her all game. It will not be easy, but if the likes of Natalie Subelli and Natasha Farrier can continue their good form, then it opens up possibilities for the underdogs. Lee is a future star and will find the ball wherever it foes inside 50, while Taylor has been playing forward of late and could be an X-factor in there, as could Tabb who will provide fresh legs off the bench and run all day while finding the pill. Tesharna Maher and Stephanie Walker are the defenders Woodville-West Torrens needs to provide the movement out of the back half, while still minding the likes of Bellinger and Lucy Armitage who can be dangerous forwards. Tess Morcom and Franson are consistent key defenders, while Gould can rotate through the ruck or defence, and Madisyn Freeman has the run to help the Tigers out of trouble. Glenelg would be the overwhelming favourites in this game given their position, the Eagles’ position and the finals predicament that the home side faces, not to mention the star quality they have with Marinoff in the team. The Eagles need to play at their best to secure their first win, but with so much on the line for Glenelg, it is hard to see them slipping up in this contest.

Weekend preview: SANFL Women’s – Round 9

THE PENULTIMATE round of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season is here, with finals spots up for grabs as five teams fight for four spots, and wins for West Adelaide and Glenelg in particular become of the upmost importance.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Friday, April 19, 4.15pm
Prospect Oval

The Roosters have been in ripping form of late and after a slow start to the year which saw North Adelaide start 1-3, last year’s minor premiers have strung four games on the trot to not only all but guarantee a finals spot, but keep the heat on second placed South Adelaide who are just one win ahead. For Central District, their finals dream was doused last week, but there is still plenty of pride in performance on the line as the Bulldogs look to leapforg Sturt into sixth place if they can muster an unlikely away win. North have brought back Melbourne AFL Women’s player Ashleigh Woodland who has returned to the half-back flank alongside Amber Ward and the duo will no doubt make it hard for the Bulldogs to score. The Roosters have lost Paige Allen to a hamstring, while winger Erica Greet also comes into the side among three changes. The Bulldogs have named an extended bench which includes Taryn Wills and Shannen Solly who return to the side, while the Bulldogs were forced to make a change with their half-back general, Gemma Doughty out of the team with a knee injury. The Bulldogs will look to Katelyn Rosenzweig up forward, while Chantelle Reynolds and Abbey Scheer are among the consistent performers thus far, while sisters, Jayme-Lee Sonneman and Demi Sonneman have been crucial cogs since coming into the club this season. For North, they have the dominant Kelly Barltrop who leads all-comers in the goalkicking and beside her is Brittany Perry and Cristie Castle who are potent in attack, while Nadia Von Bertouch has enjoyed her time at half-forward leading the troops, with Jane Altschwager dominant in the ruck and Leah Tynan consistent in midfield. With a strong line-up across the park, North should get the job done here, while Central will miss Doughty who has been an important player in their side.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
Friday, April 19, 5.15pm
City Mazda Stadium

West Adelaide hold the coveted fourth spot in the SANFL Women’s competition with Glenelg biting at the Bloods’ heels to sneak into the final four. The Bloods face the winless Woodville-West Torrens Eagles in this clash and will be keen to take the points and set up a huge final round. Youngster Jaimi Tabb has returned for the Eagles to join Kiana Lee in the forward line with the midfielder Tabb looking to add extra firepower up front. Jess Wilson also comes into the forward line amongst at least four changes for the underdog, with Annastasia Falkenberg forced out of the team due to a finger injury. The Eagles have some good developing talent in the team, but have not been able to sustain their intensity for four quarters, with blow-outs often not reflective of the effort, more lapses in play. Natalie Subelli and Natasha Farrier will hope to win the midfield battle, while Stephanie Walker and Tesharna Maher will hope to provide some good movement out of defence. Chelsea Biddell and Melanie Elsegood are a dominant key forward duo, and the likes of Ashlee Reid and Colbie Frankland could have their work cut out for them. For West Adelaide, Kasia Culhane will miss after a great 18-disposal, five-clearance game last week; she has succumbed to a shoulder injury. The big return – both literally and metaphorically – for the the home side is Leah Swain who will be an important presence in the ruck. She, along with Alexandra Mason in the forward pocket, join five potential inclusions on an extended interchange bench. Maddie Newman is the one to watch in defence, sure to rebound time and time again, while through the midfield, Rachelle Martin and Abbie Ballard lead an underrated group who can match it with most sides. West Adelaide have much more to play for and should grab the points in this one, although the Eagle could enjoy spoiling the finals party for their opponents.

GLENELG vs. STURT
Friday, April 19, 7.15pm
ACH Group Stadium

The inclusion of the round, and arguably the season by far is that of Ebony Marinoff, the Adelaide Crows’ star onballer who slots into the Glenelg midfield for her first local game in a few years. Marinoff supported the Tigers growing up and now will run out for Glenelg at home as they try and keep in touch with West Adelaide in the penultimate round. She is joined by ruck, Rhiley Ritchie and Hannah Crump in the side, while Sturt have opted for an unchanged line-up for this game. Sturt’s season unofficially came to an end last week when its hopes for finals were dashed. A win here and the Double Blues can dash those of Glenelg fans too. It will be more than a tough ask for the visitors, with Georgia Bevan, Maya Rigter and Caitlyn Swanson a strong trio onball, but coming up against Marinoff will make the Tigers hard to combat. Throw in the likes of Ellen Fauser and Charlotte Dawe and the Tigers are still solid through midfield. Glenelg is one of the teams which does not have a particular strength, rather relying on efforts across the ground with Tess Morcom and Samantha Franson making a consistent key defensive duo, Lucy Bellinger providing the firepower up forward, and Madisyn Freeman and crucial key position player, Caitlin Gould also have great seasons. All eyes will be on Marinoff given the midfielder had the most touches at AFL Women’s level in a game this season, so seeing what she could do at state level will be reminiscent of the time Nathan Buckley suited up for Williamstown and packed out the stadium – hopefully we see the same at ACH Group Stadium. The Double Blues have a strong midfield, while Alex Ballard has been a talent in defence, and Georgia Swan and Nicole Baker good in the forward half. If they can win the midfield battle while controlling Marinoff, the Double Blues are a solid chance, but like West Adelaide in the previous game, Glenelg have a lot more at stake and should grab the points.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. NORWOOD
Saturday, April 20, 1pm
Flinders University Stadium

The final game of the round and standalone match is that of the top two sides going head-to-head in what could be a Grand Final preview. Last year’s premiers host last year’s grand finalists in what is shaping up to be a sensational clash. Both teams have taken different approaches to their team selection, with South Adelaide making at least seven changes compared to Norwood’s one confirmed change. Both have crucial players returning, with ball-winner and Adelaide Crows midfielder, Nikki Gore coming into the Panthers line-up alongside Mykala Walker-Murphy who booted a bag of four goals earlier in the season. Also returning to the Panthers are defenders Emily Brockhurst and Tiffany Copley, while Rhiannon Busch comes into the fold for Norwood, as does recently departed Crow, Sally Riley. The Panthers will be smiting at their second defeat of the season last weekend when they went down to Glenelg having defeated them a week earlier, while the Redlegs are yet to taste defeat and will look to secure top spot with a victory here. Norwood won the clash between the powerhouses in Round 1, and have had such a settled team throughout the season. Their midfield is the best in the competition, and the inclusion of Riley allows Ellen Maple Medallist Najwa Allen to play forward which is a fantastic luxury to have. Add in Matilda Zander and Hannah Priest in attack, and the defensive rebound duo of Sophie Armitstead and Monique Hollick in defence, and the Redlegs are covered at both ends. Leah Cutting provides first use to her midfielders including Busch and Hannah Dunn, but she will have to contend with the athletic, Montana McKinnon who is a terrific emerging talent. Their young and talented midfield at South Adelaide include Hannah Munyard and Teah Charlton who get forward and apply scoreboard pressure, while Czenya Cavouras, Elyse Haussen and Nicole Campbell make the Panthers have the best depth of anyone in the competition. Basically, the best top-end midfield going against the deepest midfield makes for a fascinating contest. Norwood deservedly go in as favourites for this game, while South Adelaide would have geared itself up for this match as both sides look to go deep in finals. With North Adelaide breathing down the Panthers’ necks, South will hope to get the job done and secure second spot.

Weekend preview: SANFL Women’s – Round 7

WITH a month to go in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition, things are heating up in terms of ladder positions and finals ramifications. Norwood is one win away from consolidating a finals spot this season, although they will not want to rest on their laurels with South Adelaide right behind them with five wins from six games. The Panthers take on the mid-table Glenelg who have dropped three on the trot, while North Adelaide and West Adelaide do battle in a huge game on Saturday.

GLENELG vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Friday, April 5, 5.40pm
ACH Group Stadium

The opening game of the round kicks off tonight with the red-hot South Adelaide travelling to ACH Group Stadium to face the out-of-form Glenelg. The Tigers started the season on fire with three victories, but the wins have dried up and while the wooden spooners are much improved from their 2018 season, their finals hopes are looking shaky with North Adelaide ready to pounce on their fourth spot. The Panthers had a bit of a shock last week against Central District before putting the foot down and doing what they do best – win by plenty. South will be minus Montana McKinnon who has AFL Women’s Academy duties, while Emily Brockhurst is out after a knee injury in last week’s win. Into the side comes three players to an extended bench, with full-forward Brianna Wedding to fill McKinnon’s role down forward, while Alana Browne and Brooklyn Kraft have been added to the interchange. Last week Mykala Walker-Murphy booted four goals in an imposing effort up forward and it will take something special to stop her, although Glenelg’s Ellen Fauser has been in good form this season and could be the match-up for her. The Tigers have opted to make at least two confirmed changes, with Charlotte Dawe and Laura Isaac back into the midfield, while Hannah Crump adds firepower to attack. The Panthers midfield is incredibly strong with Hannah Munyard, Czenya Cavouras, Nicole Campbell and Elyse Haussen all enjoying strong seasons, while Teah Charlton has potency in the forward half. For Glenelg. Lucy Bellinger is capable of doing damage up forward, while Caitlin Gould has been named at full-back having enjoyed her time in the ruck, and the likes of Sam Franson and Madisyn Freeman also contributing throughout the season. It is hard to look past South Adelaide in this game given the respective formlines, but Glenelg improved last week and will hope to take its game to another level in this clash.

STURT vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
Saturday, April 6, 10.15am
Peter Motley Oval

In a game that probably will not feature too much in finals calculations, but certainly has a lot of pride attached, is the bottom two clash between Sturt and Woodville-West Torrens. Both sides have had their chances this season showing good form at times within matches, but have not been able to sustain their consistency, winning just one game between them. Sturt took it right up to West Adelaide last week and looked like the Double Blues had turned their losing start to the season around, only for the Bloods to run over the top of them in the second half. If Sturt can maintain that intensity for four quarters, expect them to have a much better chance at the two points in this game. The Eagles looked good early in the season, but have managed just the five goals in the past three weeks with scoring drying up. To counteract this and hope for a change, the visitors have brought in half-forward Bronwyn Davey and centre half-forward Taylor McKay, as well as midfielder, Emily Tromans. Jaimi Tabb misses again due to unavailability, while Adele Gibson is out with a knee injury after going down last week. For Sturt, they have made just the two changes, welcoming back two important players for the match, with Georgia Bevan missing last week’s win due to a wedding, while Alex Ballard adds some youthful exuberance to the team. Sturt are deservedly favourites for this game, with Bevan, Caitlyn Swanson and Maya Rigter a good core midfield, while Nicole Baker and Tess Maple can create opportunities up forawrd. The Eagles have a number of players who can turn games, but rely a lot on Kiana Lee down forward, while Natasha Farrier could be a key to getting scores on the board in this game. Stephanie Walker and Tesharna Maher are other players who have shown they can lead the way when required and the Eagles will need a full team effort in this game to get over the line.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Saturday, April 6, 4.15pm
Prospect Oval

The match of the round is certainly the North Adelaide and West Adelaide clash at Prospect oval. Sitting fifth and third on the table respectively, the sides know what is on the line in this game with the last few weeks of the season ahead. North Adelaide lose two key players with AFL Women’s representatives, Brittany Perry and Ashley Woodland out of the side, while Danielle Nunns and Eva Mitchell are the straight swaps for the Roosters. For West Adelaide, they have made four straight changes for the big clash, as ruck Leah Swain returns to the side, while Jayne Taylah, Alex Czabayski and Scarlett Griffiths all come into the team. There is more than two points on the line in this clash from an individuals perspective, as North Adelaide’s Kelly Barltrop and West Adelaide’s Chelsea Biddell go head-to-head up opposite ends. Barltrop leads the competition goalkicking with 16 goals in six games, while Biddell is just four behind in second with two majors a game this season. Madison Newman (leading the competition in rebounds) and Nadia Von Bertouch are their respective sides’ leading ball winners, with the Bloods ball winner averaging just over 19 per game, while Von Bertouch has led her side from the front, with 17.8 disposals per game. Swain has played just three matches this season for the Bloods, and averages 18 hitouts per game to be second overall in the competition, while Jane Altschwager has been as consistent as anyone in the centre square. With a midfield of Von Bertouch, Paige Allan and Leah Tynan, and a strong rebounder in Amber Ward, North Adelaide have every chance of taking home the points in this clash, however Rebecca Owen, Abbie Ballard and Helen Maidment might have something to say about that as the Bloods hope to keep in touch with the top two.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. NORWOOD
Saturday, April 6, 4.15pm
X Convenience Oval

The final game of the round will help Central District measure itself against the premiership favourites. Having won two consecutive games before dropping their past couple, the Bulldogs will hope to get a fast start against the Redlegs in this game. Katelyn Rosenzweig returns to the side in a crucial inclusion against a Norwood team that is reeling from injuries. Along with Rosenzweig, Keely Cannizarro returns to the team in defence, replacing captain Nicola Biagi who misses the clash, while half-back Karissa Searle is also into the team. For Norwood, they seem to have limped into this game with five four changes including three injuries and two unavailabilities. Jo Hill, Cassandra Tsoumbris and Matilda Van Riel will miss through injury, while Kate Fenton and key player Ebony O’Dea will miss the match as well. Despite the wide-scale changes at the ladder leaders, it is hard to see them not controlling this game, with Leah Cutting the number one ruck in the competition, and Hannah Dunn (20.7 disposals per game), Najwa Allen (19.8) and Monique Hollick (17.5) all ranked in the top seven biggest ball winners. Hollick has also been the far and away dominant marker this season, averaging almost seven per game, and 14 more than her nearest rival. One thing Central District do well is clear the ball from defence, and Gemma Doughty and Demi Sonneman are ranked in the top five for rebounds in 2019. It will take a massive effort from the Bulldogs to upstage the Redlegs, but with the high number of chances forcing some adjustability to the Norwood side, and a determined effort with a last chance look at finals potentially on the line, Central District will likely step up and put in a strong effort in this clash.

Weekend preview: SANFL Women’s – Round 4

AFTER a week off, the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition recommences tonight for Round 4 action. The night sees a double header at X Convenience Oval, as well as 7pm games at both Flinders University Stadium and City Mazda Stadium. Two sides remain undefeated, and two are yet to get a win on the board in season 2019.

NORWOOD vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
March 15, 6.45pm
X Convenience Oval

The first of two games at X Convenience Oval pits one of the premiership favourites, Norwood against newcomers, Woodville-West Torrens. The Eagles are yet to taste victory in season 2019, having gone down to Glenelg, Sturt and fellow 2019 debutants, Central District in the opening three rounds. For the Redlegs, they have answered every challenge thrown at them, knocking off the reigning premiers, South Adelaide, as well as North Adelaide and Sturt. They will head into this game as strong favourites to make it four in a row, while the Eagles will be keen to break their winless start to the season. Norwood’s team selection includes two forced outs with Bree-Anna Liebhadt and Emma Clark both out of the side with injury, while Jiarna Zerella has also made way. Into the team comes defender, Rosette Zerella, as well as Michele Reid, Zoe Greer and Tara Robertson who have all been named on an extended bench. For the Eagles, they lose a couple of players due to concussion, as Annastasia Falkenberg and Georgia Taylor are both out of the side. Jessica Wilson will be looked upon to play Taylor’s role out of defence, as the Eagles have also named ruck Taylor McKay and winger Tesharna Maher among five inclusions for their Round 4 clash. All eyes will be on both sides’ forward lines with Sarah Perkins and Kiana Lee providing some serious firepower up front for the Eagles, while Hannah Dunn has been a ball magnet this season, and has been named at centre half-forward. The Redlegs’ rebounding power of Sophie Armitstead and Monique Hollick will also give them an advantage, while a potential head-to-head between Najwa Allen and Jaimi Tabb could be a battle in itself. Expect Norwood to get the job done, but the Eagles have shown that if they can get it forward, they are always able to cause some headaches.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
March 15, 7pm
Flinders University Stadium

The clash of the round is set to occur at Flinders University Stadium, with last year’s minor premiers taking on the reigning premiers. The Roosters have had just the one win, but their losses have come against the two undefeated sides in Norwood and Glenelg. The Panthers’ only loss also came against the Redlegs, and they will head into the game as favourites, having pushed Norwood, and looked impressive in the other matches. The Roosters still have some really dangerous players, and their leaders will be keen to get a vital win here. South Adelaide have made three changes to their Round 3 side, with Tiffany Copley and Brianna Wedding both out due to injury. The Panthers have named an extra extended bench, bringing in five players, including forwards, Lauren Buchanan and Jess Kirk, and winger Nicole Campbell. Nikki Gore has been named on an extended bench, timing her debut with Adelaide in the AFL Women’s perfectly to coincide with a bye last week. For North, they have made three changes, as they bring back important onballer, Rheanne Lugg, as well as Cristie Castle and Kathryn Reynolds. Both sides contain some of the top players in the SANFL Women’s with South’s team brimming with young talent. From ruck/forward Montana McKinnon, to midfielders, Teah Charlton and Hannah Munyard, the Panthers have some future stars developing within the club. Czenya Cavouras tore the game apart in Round 3 and will once again be a key contributor in South’s efforts, while Madison Bennett and Jaslynne Smith are others who have gone through the Under 18s state side. For the Roosters, captain Nadia Von Bertouch has been consistent all season, and with Lugg back in the side the pair will combine with Leah Tynan through the inside, and look to set up leading goalkicker, Kelly Barltrop at full-forward. Meanwhile up the other end, Amber Ward has been a prolific rebounder this season and could be a player to set up attacking drives. South Adelaide head in as favourites, but North Adelaide are not a team to take lightly.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. GLENELG
March 15, 7pm
City Mazda Stadium

Both West Adelaide and Glenelg were undefeated heading into Round 3, but the Bloods dropped their first game of the season to South Adelaide, while the Tigers showed they were the most improved team of the competition by toppling the Roosters. In Round 4, Glenelg would look to win to keep touch with Norwood, while West Adelaide will keep its spot in the top four if it can salute in this game. The Bloods have lost ruck, Leah Swain due to work commitments, while Alana Lowery is out following a knee injury and suspension. Tekira Hoffman has been thrown into the ruck, while Phoebe Edwards returns to the side, slotting straight into full-back. Helen Maidment returns to the onball brigade, while Emma Smith and Alex Czabayski have been named on an extended bench. For the Tigers, they remain unchanged, with Olivia Walker-Obushak and Eirenn Harkness added to an extended interchange. West Adelaide’s forward targets of Chelsea Biddell and Melanie Elsegood always attract attention when going inside 50, while Lucy Bellinger and Hannah Crump have equally shown to be a handful to opposition sides. Samantha Franson will look to take advantage of the in-form Swain’s absence in the ruck, to get forward and try and hit the scoreboard. Ellen Fauser is another Tiger who has been impressive this season and will likely match-up on one of the twin towers in the Westies forward line. Abbie Ballard continues to develop for the Bloods, as does Maddie Newman, while Glenelg have a well balanced team that continues to get the job done. In this match, Glenelg will use their consistency across the field to head in as favourites, but West Adelaide are every chance of causing an upset.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. STURT
March 15, 8.30pm
X Convenience Oval

The second game in the double header at X Convenience Stadium sees newcomers, Central District go up against Sturt. The Bulldogs claimed their first win in Round 3 following a victory over Woodville-West Torrens, while a brave Double Blues side is still yet to taste a win, but is competitive each match. The Bulldogs have lost Isabella Wilson to suspension – a key out after the tall forward booted 2.2 from 11 disposals in the previous game. They have welcomed back Jessica Sedunary who will look to fill that void, while Karissa Searle has also been added into the forward mix. For Sturt, Nicole Baker has to miss due to work commitments, while Jess Schulz has been omitted. Key defender, Paxton Davis-Mattner comes into the side, as does forward, Brianna Burt. The game will see Sturt’s strong midfield take on a Central side that has some standout players across the ground without a dominant third in particular. Katelyn Rosenzweig looms as the X-factor up forward for the Eagles, with Abbey Scheer, Rebecca Catterall and Shalee O’Brien looking to win the ball in the midfield and get it forward. The half-back line of Gemma Doughty, Nicola Biagi and Chantelle Reynolds has been effective, while Sturt’s forward line that contains Georgia Swan and Caitlyn Swanson will need some careful watching. Izzy Kuiper, Maya Rigter and Georgia Bewvan are a challenging midfield at the best of times for any opposition and with a forward line that shares goals around, it will be an unpredictable set-up to combat. Sturt might not have won a game yet, but the Double Blues have never been out of a contest and remain firmly in contention to be a competitive outfit in season 2019. Expect them to go hard at the contest and they could almost be favourites, although Central’s efforts last week were very impressive.

Weekend wash-up: SANFL Women’s – Round 2

THREE sides remain undefeated in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s League after two rounds, following West Adelaide and Glenelg triumphing over the newcomers for the second consecutive week. Norwood got the job done against the reigning premiers in a grand final rematch, while North Adelaide recorded its first win of the season, finishing strong against Sturt.

NORTH ADELAIDE 2.3 | 3.4 | 6.6 | 6.6 (42)
STURT 2.1 | 4.3 | 4.3 | 5.5 (35)


GOALS:

North: Kelly Barltrop 5, Nadia Von Bertouch.
Sturt: Nicole Baker, Lucy Griffith, Lauren Lovell, Jess Schulz, Caitlyn Swanson.

DISPOSALS:

North: Nadia Von Bertouch 20, Paige Allan 16, Erica Greet 15
Sturt: Georgia Bevan 24, Maya Rigter 16

A five-goal haul to Kelly Bartrop has handed North Adelaide its first win of the season, defeating Sturt by seven points on Friday. Barltrop’s handful came in two spurts, as she nailed the first two goals of the game, and then another three consecutive goals over the second and third quarters to take control of the match for the Roosters. The Double Blues still managed to lead at the main break despite her early heroics, as Jess Schulz, Lauren Lovell, Caitlyn Swanson and Nicole Baker all converted opportunities in the first half for Sturt to lead by five points at half-time. With Barltrop taking control in the second half, a late goal to captain, Nadia Von Bertouch gave the Roosters a 15-point lead. Lucy Griffith quickly cut the deficit to nine points in the sixth minute of the final term, before misses to Schulz and Georgia Swan proved costly, as Sturt fell short of a comeback.

Sturt dominated the disposal count (218-180), disposal efficiency (65 per cent to 58 per cent), marks (33 to 22), and even won the inside-50 count, but the tackling pressure of the Roosters (71-51) meant the defensive pressure was ever-present. Barltrop’s five goals game from just six kicks in an ultra-efficient effort, while Von Bertouch booted 1.2 from 20 disposals – 19 kicks – four marks, six inside 50s and two tackles. Paige Allen finished with the 16 touches, three marks and four inside 50s, while Leah Tynan (12 tackles) and Rheanne Lugg (nine) brought the heat. Georgia Bevan was superb again for the Double Blues, racking up 24 disposals, one mark, three inside 50s, two rebounds and laying four tackles, while Maya Rigter had a team-high seven tackles to go with her 16 disposals and four inside 50s. Larissa Schenscher was another who stood tall in the back half, taking five marks from 14 touches and had two rebounds. Next week both sides face unbeaten teams, with the Roosters coming up against Glenelg, while Sturt travels to Coopers Stadium to face the Redlegs.

WEST ADELAIDE 0.0 | 3.3 | 7.3 | 7.3 (45)
WWT EAGLES 0.3 | 1.3 | 2.5 | 6.6 (42)


GOALS:

West: Chelsea Biddell 6, Emma Smith.
Eagles: Sarah Perkins 3, Jaimi Tabb 2, Kiana Lee.

DISPOSALS:

West: Madison Newman 18, Abbie Ballard 16
Eagles: Stephanie Walker 24, Jaimi Tabb 18, Tesharna Maher 15

A stunning last quarter comeback by new side, Woodville-West Torrens has fallen agonisingly short, going down by three points to a Chelsea Biddell-inspired West Adelaide team. The Eagles actually led at quarter time courtesy of three behinds, before the Biddell took control of the match inside 50, converting three goals. With young star, Kiana Lee adding one for the visitors, the Eagles trailed by 12 points at the main break. Despite Adelaide AFL Women’s star Sarah Perkins converting her first in the third term, another three majors to Biddell, and one to Emma Smith saw the Westies lead by what looked to be an unassailable 28-point lead. Enter Perkins and Jaimi Tabb. Perkins took just 50 seconds in the final quarter to convert her first, while Tabb booted back-to-back goals in the first 10 minutes. When Perkins missed a chance late in the game, she quickly put another major on the board, but it would prove too little, too late in the end for the brave Eagles, as they held the Bloods scoreless in the last, only to lose by three points.

Woodville-West Torrens dominated disposal (201-153) and won the inside-50 count (26-20), but could not stop the Bloods rebounding it out of the back 50 (20-13). Both sides had elite disposal efficiency with the Eagles nudging out the Bloods 77-74 per cent for the game. Along with her six goals, Biddell had 11 touches, four marks and five inside 50s, while a number of younger stars also stood up. Abbie Ballard had 16 disposals, three marks, four tackles and two inside 50s, while six of the Bloods’ rebounds came from the boot of Madison Newman, who also recorded 18 disposals and two marks. Leah Swain was again prominent in the ruck with 23 hitouts, the former basketballer too tall for her opponents. For the Eagles, Stephanie Walker was terrific with 24 disposals, two marks and three rebounds, while Tabb laid eight tackles to pair with her two goals and 18 touches in a strong all-round game. Georgia Taylor was again prominent in defence with three rebounds from 13 disposals, while Natasha Farrier laid six tackles, and Perkins took two contested marks from 11 disposals and three inside 50s. Next week, the Eagles face fellow newcomers, Central District in a bid to secure their first-ever win in the SANFL Women’s competition, while West Adelaide comes up against a South Adelaide side undoubtedly fired up after a loss to Norwood on Friday.

GLENELG 1.1 | 3.3 | 4.5 | 5.7 (37)
CENTRAL 0.1 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 3.2 (20)


GOALS:

Glenelg: Ellen Fauser, Olivia Walker-Obushak, Rebecca Steer, Hannah Crump, Samantha Franson.
Central: Katelyn Rosenzweig 2, Isabella Wilson.

DISPOSALS:

Glenelg: Cass Hartley, Ellie Kellock 18, Ellen Fauser 16
Central: Danielle Stewart 19

Glenelg’s promising start to the season continued on the weekend with a second win over another new side to the competition, defeating Central District by 17 points. From when the Tigers hit the front through a first quarter Ellen Fauser goal, they never relinquished it, as Central drew level early in the second term through Isabella Wilson, but a couple of late majors to Glenelg saw them skip to a 14-point half-time lead. A dour third term saw Hannah Crump add the only major of the quarter, as Rebecca Steer and Caitlin Gould missed opportunities, but more importantly for the home side, their opposition could not seem to find an avenue to goal. It took until the eighth minute mark of the final term for Adelaide AFL Women’s forward, Katelyn Rosenzweig to find the big sticks, then backed it up five minutes later to cut the deficit to 11 points and give Central District a sniff. Samantha Franson put the result beyond doubt in the dying minutes of the final term, giving the Tigers a 17-point buffer, which was the final margin.

Glenelg earned its victory with a whopping differential in disposals (215-151), disposal efficiency (67-51 per cent), marks (40-13), hitouts (35-14) and inside 50s (34-12). Many might wonder how the Bulldogs managed to get so close considering the statistics, but a league season-high 93 tackles just applied pressure around the ground and made the Tigers earn every possession. They also won the rebounds 26 to nine, and with tidying up their skills and getting more opportunities going forward, the Bulldogs could certainly be a highly effective side. For Glenelg, Cassie Hartley and Ellie Kellock led the way in disposals with 18 each, as they combined for eight marks and seven tackles, while Kellock had three of her side’s nine rebounds. As well as her goal, Fauser recorded 16 touches, six marks (one contested), three tackles and four inside 50s, while Gould was prolific around the ground in the ruck, totalling 16 hitouts and six inside 50s from 14 disposals. For Central District, Danielle Stewart had a game-high 19 disposals, as well as laying five tackles, while Shannen Solly racked up seven rebounds from 14 disposals. Setting the tone for tackles was Caitlen Teague (12), while Madison Lane (10), Shailee O’Brien (nine) and Isabella Wilson (nine) were also strong on the inside. Next week the Bulldogs will hope to get one-up on fellow new side, Woodville-West Torrens, while Glenelg aims to continue its unbeaten streak against North Adelaide.

NORWOOD 0.1 | 1.2 | 4.2 | 5.3 (33)
SOUTH 1.2 | 1.2 | 2.3 | 3.3 (21)


GOALS:

Norwood: Najwah Allen 2, Hannah Dunn, Monique Hollick, Bree-Anna Liebhardt.
South: Lauren Buchanan, Jessica Kirk, Indy Tahau.

DISPOSALS:

Norwood: Najwah Allen 24, Hannah Dunn 17, Michele Reid 16, Monique Hollick 15
South: Czenya Cavouras 19, Montana McKinnon 18, Samantha Pratt 18, Cheyenne Hammond, Jaslynne Smith 15

Four of the game’s five goals in the middle two quarters proved to be the catalyst for Norwood in its win over reigning premiers South Adelaide on Friday night. In what shaped to be a terrific grand final rematch, Lauren Buchanan became the early hero for the Panthers with the only goal of the first term. Ball magnet, Hannah Dunn squared the ledger by half-time as both teams headed into the rooms at 1.2 apiece. The third term got off to the best start for Jessica Kirk‘s Panthers as her goal saw them break the deadlock, however three consecutive goals – two to last week’s hero Najwah Allen – resulted in the Redlegs heading into the final break with an 11-point lead. South’s Indy Tahau cut the margin to less than a kick eight minutes into the final term, but a late goal to Bree-Anna Liebhardt gave the Redlegs some breathing space, and proved to be enough in the end with a 12-point win.

Both teams found plenty of the ball, with Norwood’s kick-first mentality proving the bigger asset over the Panthers balanced approach between quick hands and possession football. They were evenly matched for the most part, with Norwood edging ahead in the inside-50 count, 34-28. Allen was terrific once again, having a game-high 24 disposals, four marks, six tackles and four inside 50s to go with her two majors, while last week’s round disposal leader, Hannah Dunn had a solid 17 touches, five tackles, two inside 50s and two rebounds. Monique Hollick did some great work going forward with five inside 50s from 15 touches and an all-important third quarter goal, while Sophie Armitstead laid seven tackles from 12 disposals and four inside 50s. For the Panthers, Czenya Cavouras had a team-high 19 touches, seven tackles, three inside 50s and three rebounds, while teenage AFL Women’s Academy member, Montana McKinnon was superb in the ruck and around the ground, racking up 18 disposals, 11 hitouts, three inside 50s, two rebounds and laying two tackles. Samantha Pratt (18 touches, four rebounds and three tackles), Cheyenne Hammond (15 disposals and five rebounds), Jaslynne Smith (15 disposals and three rebounds) and Hannah Munyard (14 disposals and three inside 50s) were others who stood tall for the losing side. Next week, Norwood will be keen to make it three wins in a row when it faces the winless Sturt, while South Adelaide will be keen to bounce back against the undefeated North Adelaide.

Weekend preview: SANFL Women’s – Round 2

THE second round of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s takes place tonight with a grand final replay highlighting an exciting round of action.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. STURT
Friday, February 22, 6.30pm
Coopers Stadium

The opening game of the round sees two losing sides from Round 1 face off to try and get their first win on the board. Both sides have made minimal changes, with Rooster, Gabrielle Gormlie coming in for her first game, replacing Sharni Tansell. For Sturt, Nicole Baker is a welcome inclusion back into the Double Blues’ side, as is Jessie Keech, while Casey Fraser is out with a broken hand, joining Della Griffith on the sidelines. Last week, Roosters captain Nadia Von Bertouch was a leader on-field with 15 disposals, four marks and eight tackles, while defender Amber Ward was efficient with 17 disposals and nine rebounds. Both sides will be keen to put more scores on the board with North booting 1.5 and the Double Blues 2.2. Izzy Kuiper was the highest disposal winner for Sturt with 15 touches and four tackles, while Alexandra Ballard, Georgia Bevan and Maya Rigter all recorded 12 disposals.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
Friday, February 22, 7.30pm
City Mazda Stadium

West Adelaide hosts Woodville-West Torrens in a bid to make it two wins in a row for the Bloods, while the Eagles are hoping to snare an inaugural win. West Adelaide have just the one confirmed out – Lauren Rodata (concussion) – while bringing in three players with Jacalyn Pickering, Alice Gee and Mary Smith all named. The Eagles have rolled the dice with six players coming into the side and five outs. Madeline Dufek is the sole forced change with a knee injury, while Shae Pacifico-Hart, Taylor Hand and Courtney Jonson are also out of the side. Among the ins are Adelaide AFL Women’s forward, Sarah Perkins and South Australian Under-18 vice-captain, Rachel Dunstan. Madison Newman (26 disposals, four marks, six inside 50s and six rebounds) had a day out for the Bloods in Round 1, while Rachelle Martin laid a massive nine tackles to go with her 23 touches, four rebounds and a goal. Leah Swain was dominant in the ruck with 24 hitouts, as was Caitlin Sampson who recorded 19 for the Eagles. Jaimi Tabb and Georgia Taylor were equally as crucial for Woodville-West Torrens, notching up 17 disposals each, with Tabb going inside 50 five times, and Taylor rebounding the ball nine times. Kiana Lee was the sole beneficiary up forward with the Eagles’ two goals.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. GLENELG
Friday, February 22, 7.30pm
X Convenience Oval

Last year’s wooden spooners got their season off to the best possible start last week with a 35-point win over Woodville-West Torrens, while Central District fell to West Adelaide by 20 points. Lucy Bellinger racked up 23 disposals, 10 marks (two contested), five tackles, four inside 50s and two goals in a best on ground performance against the Bulldogs, while Ellen Fauser and Samantha Franson both picked up 15 disposals and kicked a goal. Central District have named two ins to their side with Kimberly Fry named on the half-back flanks and Shalee O’Brien brought onto an extended bench. Jayme-Lee Sonneman recorded 16 disposals, three marks, three tackles, three inside 50s and three rebounds, while Danielle Stewart (15 disposals, two marks and eight tackles) and Katelyn Rosenzweig (12 disposals, two contested marks ad three tackles) were also crucial in the loss. This week Rosenzweig was named at full-back with the Crows AFL Women’s forward looking likely to play in a new role tonight.

NORWOOD vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Friday, February 22, 8.15pm
Coopers Stadium

Two impressive winners from Round 1 were last year’s grand finalists and they face off in Round 2 in what should be considered the match of the round. The Redlegs have made just two changes to the side that triumphed in Round 1 and will be keen to back it up against the high-scoring Panthers outfit. Adelaide AFL Women’s young gun Nicky Gore was the big ball winner last week, racking up 19 disposals, five marks (two contested) and laying 10 tackles but will not take the field in this game. She was the sole out for the Panthers with Emily Woods, Natalie Gibbs and debutant, Emily Brockhurst named in the extended side. Hannah Munyard and Nicole Campbell also shared in 19 disposals, with the former booting a goal. Teah Charlton was lively up forward for the Panthers, creating havoc on her way to three goals. For Norwood, Hannah Dunn had a league-high 29 disposals in Round 1, while also recording four marks and five inside 50s. Najwah Allen booted the Redlegs’ two goals, while Monique Hollick continued where she left off last season with 12 touches and seven inside 50s.

SANFL Womens Review: Round 1

LAST year’s grand finalists both enjoyed victories in the first round of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s League, while both newcomers suffered defeats despite promising starts.

WWT EAGLES 1.2 | 1.2 | 2.3 | 2.4 (16)
GLENELG 1.1 | 5.4 | 6.7 | 7.9 (51)


GOALS:
Glenelg: Lucy Bellinger, Hannah Crump 2, Ellen Fauser, Sam Franson, Brooke Trevena.
Eagles: Kiana Lee 2.

DISPOSALS:
Glenelg: Lucy Bellinger 23, Ellen Fauser 15, Sam Franson 15
Eagles: Jaimi Tabb 17, Georgia Taylor 17, Madeleine Dufek 16

Last year’s wooden spooners got their season off to the perfect start, as Glenelg proved too strong for league newcomers, Woodville-West Torrens. The Tigers had a fight on their hands early, and toughed it out in the second half, but a four goals to zero second term proved to be the difference for the winners. Samantha Franson made history with the first SANFL Women’s League goal for 2019, then teenager, Kiana Lee did the same, becoming the first Eagles goalkicker in the team’s history. With the game tight eight minutes into the second term and Glenelg leading by a point, Hannah Crump popped up to boot two consecutive goals, before Ellen Fauser joined the party and in less than four minutes, Glenelg had opened up a 20-point lead. A quick goal before half-time to Brooke Trevena had the Tigers 26 points up and in control. Lee gave the Eagles a glimmer of hope with a goal midway through the third term to cut the margin to 28 points, but two goals either side of the final break to Lucy Bellinger, put the game beyond doubt as Glenelg enjoyed the 35-point victory.

Bellinger was ultra-impressive for the Tigers throughout the game, racking up 23 disposals, 10 marks (two contested), four inside 50s, six tackles and two goals in the win. Fellow goalkickers, Fauser and Franson both had 15 disposals, while Fauser got free for six marks, and Franson laid seven tackles to cause headaches for the opposition. For the Eagles, Jaimi Tabb was superb in the front half of the ground, notching up 17 disposals and five inside 50s, while teammate Georgia Taylor did everything she could in defence, recording nine rebounds to go with her 17 touches and three marks. Caitlin Sampson was huge in the ruck with 19 hitouts as well as her 10 disposals. Next week Glenelg faces another new side in Central District, while the Eagles look to secure their first win when they take on West Adelaide.

NORWOOD 0.6 | 0.9 | 0.9 | 2.10 (22)
NORTH ADELAIDE 0.1 | 0.4 | 1.5 | 1.5 (11)


GOALS:
Norwood: Najwah Allen 2.
North: Elysha Willis.

DISPOSALS:
Norwood: Hannah Dunn 29, Najwah Allen 20, Rhiannon Busch 15
North: Amber Ward 17, Nadia von Bertouch 15

Both sides were considered contenders heading into the match, and it proved to be a battle of attrition as neither side managed to find the big sticks in the first half. At the major break, a combined 13 behinds had been scored, with the Redlegs five points ahead. Failing to score in the third term, Norwood found itself down by two points at the final break, courtesy of a drought-breaking Elysha Willis goal in the sixteenth minute. Another behind early in the fourth to the Redlegs saw them one point down and with 10 minutes remaining, it looked as though the four points was heading home with North Adelaide. Enter Najwah Allen who became Norwood’s saviour in the final term, converting two goals in the final 10 minutes to help Norwood to the win.

Allen was crucial with 20 disposals, three marks, three tackles and two inside 50s, while Hannah Dunn had a day out, recording a league-high 29 disposals in the win, as well as four marks and five inside 50s. Monique Hollick was busy in transition with seven inside 50s to pair with her 12 disposals, while Leah Cutting laid a massive 12 tackles to apply serious defensive pressure to the Roosters. For North Adelaide, Amber Ward was the leading ball winner with 17 disposals, but her work in the defensive half was superb, also racking up nine rebounds, and registering three inside 50s. Nadia Von Bertouch had 15 disposals, four marks (two contested) and laid eight tackles in a strong performance, while Lauren Daniel laid 12 tackles from her 12 disposals. Next week Norwood takes on South Adelaide in a Grand Final rematch in what looks to be a thrilling contest, while North Adelaide faces Sturt with both sides keen to get a win on the board.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 1.2 | 1.7 | 2.8 | 6.10 (46)
STURT 2.0 | 2.1 | 2.2 | 2.2 (14)


GOALS:
South: Teah Charlton 3, Alana Browne, Lauren Buchanan, Hannah Munyard.
Sturt: Caitlyn Swanson, Lauren Lovell.

DISPOSALS:
South: Nicole Campbell 19, Nikki Gore 19, Hannah Munyard 19, Czenya Cavouras 15, Danielle Goding 15
Sturt: Izzy Kuiper 15

It took until a final quarter flurry, but the SANFL Women’s League reigning premiers reminded the competition of what they were capable of, running out 32-point winners over Sturt to start their season off how they had left it. With a mix of youth and experience, Sturt threw up a challenge to the reigning premiers, leading at quarter time and heading into the main break level. Ultimately, the Panthers ability to finally find the big sticks proved the difference as they booted 1.1 to 0.1 in the third term to lead by a goal, before running away with a four goals to zero final term to sit top of the table after Round 1.

Adelaide AFL Women’s midfielder, Nikki Gore was sensational winning the ball as easily as she had last year for the Panthers, and teamed up well with fellow youngster, Hannah Munyard, and Nicole Campbell of whom all three racked up 19 touches. Gore laid a massive 10 tackles in the win, while Campbell and Munyard combined for 15 inside 50s. Teenage sensation, Teah Charlton booted three goals to be a crucial link up forward, while AFL Women’s Academy ruck, Montana McKinnon had 20 hitouts to go with her 13 disposals and four tackles. Izzy Kuiper had the highest disposals for Sturt, notching up 15 for the game as well as four tackles, while former Crow, Georgia Bevan had six rebounds as well as her 12 touches and six tackles. Alexandra Ballard and Maya Rigter both finished the game with 12 touches to be among Sturt’s best as well.

WEST ADELAIDE 2.4 | 4.5 | 5.7 | 6.7 (43)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 1.0 | 1.1 | 1.4 | 3.5 (23)


GOALS:
West: Melanie Elsegood 3, Kasia Culhane, Rachelle Martin, Zoe Venning.
Central: Abbey Scheer, Chantel Reynolds, Laitiah Huynh.

DISPOSALS:
West: Madison Newman 26, Rachelle Martin 23, Abbie Ballard 17
Central: Jayme-Lee Sonneman 16, Danielle Stewart 15

West Adelaide posted an important win over newcomers, Central District in the final game of Round 1. The Westies lead throughout the contest at each break, and although they were outscored by the Bulldogs in the final term, West Adelaide still recorded a comfortable 20-point win. Central District had a reason to celebrate early when Abbey Scheer put through the first major of the game just a minute into the match, but it was slim pickings for Bulldogs goals until the final term, until Laitiah Huynh found the big sticks just 39 seconds into the fourth quarter. By that stage, Melanie Elsegood had booted three of West Adelaide’s five goals, and while Chantel Reynolds cut the deficit to just 15 points at the six-minute mark of quarter, and a behind to last year’s leading goalkicker Katelyn Rosenzweig saw it reduced to 14 points, it was not enough, as one of West Adelaide’s best – Rachelle Martin – kicked the steadier to ensure the victory.

Madison Newman was huge for the Bloods, racking up a game-high 16 disposals, as well as six inside 50s and six rebounds, while Martin had 23 touches of her own and laid nine tackles with four rebounds. Talented youngster, Abbie Ballard was impressive in West Adelaide’s midfield, amassing 17 touches and three inside 50s while laying seven tackles. Former basketballer, Leah Swain had 24 hitouts working hard through the ruck, while Elsegood’s efforts inside 50 to boot 3.2 from just seven disposals showed how damaging she can be. For the Bulldogs, Jayme-Lee Sonneman had the most individual disposals, recording 16 touches as well as three marks, three inside 50s and two rebounds. Danielle Stewart‘s 15 touches were complimented by her eight tackles, three inside 50s and two rebounds, while Rosenzweig took two contested marks from 12 disposals, and while she did not kick a major, was still able to provide a presence up forward. Defender Gemma Doughty had a remarkable six rebounds from seven disposals showing how effective she was in providing support to the midfielders from the back half.

Weekend preview: SANFL Women’s – Round 1

THE opening round of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Statewide Super Women’s League is completed tomorrow with four games across two double headers. Two new sides – Central District and Woodville-West Torrens are making their league debuts, while reigning premiers South Adelaide begin its campaign to go back-to-back.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS vs. GLENELG
Friday, February 15, 5.20pm
Flinders University Stadium

The opening game of Round 1 for the 2019 season sees last year’s wooden spooners taking on one of the new sides of the competition. Woodville-West Torrens will hope to kick off their SANFL Women’s League campaign with a win against Glenelg, who have won four games from their 16 matches played. With plenty of changes at the Tigers, and a number of experienced players departing the club, Glenelg will hope the likes of Morphettville Park duo, Chelsea Packer and Ellen Fauser can step up and help new coach, Jason Fairall gain an early win for season 2019. The Tigers won three of their first four games in 2017, but have won just one game since March, 2017 which was a five-point victory over West Adelaide. With the two new teams up first, the Tigers hope to start their 2019 campaign like they did in 2017. Tigers’ captain, Cass Hartley, vice-captain Elle Hellock, Sheridan Howell and Bonnie Wells are the only four players on the list who played all 10 games last season. Last year’s leading goal kicker, Lexia Edwards retired and the visitors will hope to find a new target in attack this season. The Eagles are harder to gauge given they are a brand new team to the competition, but coach Tess Baxter has brought in some seriously talented youth, which means one can expect they will have plenty of run in their legs. Jaimi Tabb – who booted five goals for West Adelaide last season – and Rachel Dunstan have both headed to the Eagles, while former GWS GIANT, Stephanie Walker looms as the key player in the side. Add in Kiana Lee and the young Eagles will challenge plenty of teams.

NORWOOD vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Friday, February 15, 6.00pm
City Mazda Stadium

Two of the original SANFL Women’s League sides, Norwood and North Adelaide clash for the seventh time in the clubs’ histories, with Norwood holding a 4-2 win-loss record against the Roosters. The Redlegs have a premiership in the bank having defeated their Round 1 opponents in the inaugural grand final, before going down to South Adelaide last year. Norwood have bade farewell to a number of players who have left to play AFL Women’s or VFL Women’s competitions. They need to find a way to replace GWS GIANT, Ebony O’Dea who was drafted last season, however Monique Hollick and Rhiannon Busch – who combined for 293 possessions in season 2018 – will be looking to start off strongly this season. The Redlegs’ lowest score in their history came against North Adelaide last year when Norwood failed to score, but two other wins – including the preliminary final victory – meant they ended the year with a positive win-loss ratio. For North Adelaide, the loss of former captain, Jess Edwards, young ball winner, Esther Boles and Adelaide AFL Women’s players, Katelyn Rosenzweig and Chloe Scheer who were both rezoned, means like the Redlegs, the Roosters will have a vastly different line-up. With GWS GIANT, Britt Perry also out for most of the season, the Roosters will look to assistant coach Emma Sampson who has returned to the playing field, as well as a host of players stepping up to the league. Paige Allan, Kelly Baltrop, Lauren Daniel, Sarah Ellis, Nadia Von Bertouch and Amber Ward all played every game last season and provide some consistency across the field.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. STURT
Friday, February 15, 7.00pm
Flinders University Stadium

The Round 1 clash between South Adelaide and Sturt is the third time the two teams have clashed, with the Panthers emerging victorious on both previous occasions. Both new teams to last year’s competition, South Adelaide triumphed in Round 2 by 46 points and Round 8 by a thumping 86 points, en-route to the 2018 premiership. Sturt used the third last game of its season to turn the form around, upsetting eventual grand finalists, Norwood by six points, then backing it up with a win over wooden spooners, Glenelg by 16. The Panthers have a number of talented young players who have the potential to cause damage to their opposition, including top-age Under-18 South Australian ruck, Montana McKinnon, and Under 18 representatives from last season, bottom-ager Teah Charlton, now top-ager Hannah Munyard, and Madison Bennett and Jaslynne Smith. Elysse Haussen was one of the more prominent ball winners for the Panthers last season, averaging 15.3 possessions per game, third behind the departed Nikki Gore (19.5) and Czenya Cauvorous (17.3). For Sturt, they have regained Georgia Bevan for the full season after the Crows’ AFL Women’s player averaged 16.8 disposals last season from four games. Once the AFL Women’s season is over, the return of Jess Foley will be handy having averaged 18 touches from her nine games for the Double Blues. Sturt’s test will be finding targets up forward, with Becchara Palmer heading interstate leaving Shae Gundlach as the sole leading goal kicker from last season, having booted four majors. South Adelaide will head into this game as strong favourites, but it will be interesting to see how they shape up.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Friday, February 15, 7.45pm
City Mazda Stadium

In the final game of the round, West Adelaide hosts Central District in the Bulldogs’ first ever SANFL Women’s League game. Last season the Bloods finished just outside the top three, and will be keen to get an early win over the newcomers to the competition. They have some seriously talented young players at the Westies, with Rachelle Martin impressing for South Australia at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships last year, and proving herself to be a ball magnet in this competition, averaging 18 disposals from her 10 games. With older sister Hannah drafted by the Crows, Rachelle will be keen to put in another great season and follow in her footsteps down the track. Abbie Ballard is another player to watch out for as the bottom-ager has shown plenty of talent in her career at the level, and could take her game to the next step ahead of the 2019 AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Add in top-ager, Maddi Newman and a couple of basketball recruits in Leah Swain and Alice Gee, and the Westies have some potentially untapped talent. Looking at the Bulldogs’ list, no doubt the club will be carefully monitoring Adelaide’s AFL Women’s team selection since securing Chloe Scheer and Katelyn Rosenzweig from North Adelaide. While Scheer is now seemingly a lock inside Adelaide’s best 22, Rosenzweig is yet to be selected, although many expect a debut not too far away. Last year’s leading goal kicker in the competition would be a huge target inside 50 for the Bulldogs. Former netballer, Nicola Biagi has been named as captain and is a testament to her impact off the field over the pre-season for her to lead the club in 2019. While how Central District performs is a bit of an unknown, they did win a couple of practice games over the summer giving them hope they can match it with the sites this season.