Tag: Machaelia Roberts

NTFL Women’s Premier League preview: Round 6 – Newcomers to be tested against benchmark

NORTHERN Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League hits Round 6 this weekend, with massive clashes that could well and truly define the competition at this early stage of the season.

Waratah v. Big River Hawks
Round 6 – 9/11/19
12.30pm
Gardens Oval

Big River Hawks are up for the fight of their lives in the opening match of Round 6, coming up against ultimately the most successful NTFL Women’s team in the competition. Waratah’s 2019/2020 record currently looks spotless thanks to a rule breach in Round 1 delivering the Warriors a win by default, but the side will be very aware that their almost spotless record is not as nice as it looks. That being said, the Waratahs have produced consistency across a number of matches this season already where the Hawks have struggled to put goals on the board at all. For the Hawks, Jayde De La Coeur and Crystal Browne have produced some solid performances so will look to replicate that against the dominance of Waratah, while Jenna Singh and Gemma Cusack will look to add a few more goals to their tally after solid starts to the season in attack.

Nightcliff v. Tracy Village
Round 6 – 9/11/19
2.00pm
PSC BM Oval

Up next is an interesting match between two of last season’s bottom sides, with the two teams in somewhat similar positions to where they finished last season. Tracy Village has had a rough start to the season, only winning one match so far and scoring a combined eight points across their losing matches thus far. For Nightcliff, this will be a real test of their improvement as a side, with two wins under their belts but keeping their losing deficits relatively low in comparison to other sides. That being said, both sides will be raring to go in this contest, which could be a fairly even match given the form of both sides. Nightcliff’s Eliza Morrison, Emma-Lou Wolsey and Laura De Hommel will be worth watching out for given their consistency thus far this season, while the likes of Gabby Young and Alexandra Biggs have been solid performers for Tracy Village.

Wanderers v. Pint
Round 6 – 9/11/19
2:30
TIO Stadium

Wanderers have had an unprecedented start to the season locking up three wins from five matches – though one by default, similar to Waratah – after only managing the two wins last season, so will be an interesting battle against a mostly unsuccessful Pint starting the season. Though a battle between fourth and seventh, there is still a chance for a relatively even contest with neither side really able to find their consistency yet this season. Eagles’ Shekeine De Satge has proven to be a key option both inside 50 and around the ball, creating opportunities with her clean hands and ability to take control of space. For Pint, Jasmyn Hewett has been solid with six goals from five matches this season so will look to add to her tally, while Jessie Baumer has the ability to impact a match if included in this week’s lineup.

St Mary’s v. Darwin Buffettes
Round 6 – 9/11/19
5.00pm
TIO

St Mary’s are in for a tough one this round, coming up against ultimately the most consistent and formidable side of competition this season in Darwin Buffettes. The Buffettes sit comfortable at the top of the ladder with an impressive percentage to match. That being said, St Mary’s have found some solid form of their own this season, posting some relatively consistent numbers despite some slower patches. St Mary’s will hope for some of their young guns to stand up against the teamwork of the Buffettes, with the likes of Danielle Ponter and Aaliyah Bailey able to impact the contest despite their relative youth. A big out for the Buffs this round and onwards is Machaelia Roberts who heads down to Victoria for AFL Women’s preseason training, which is a big blow to the side which has really relied on her ability to find the footy and create something out of nothing.

Southern Districts v. Palmerston Magpies
Round 6 – 10/11/19
2.00pm
Norbuilt Oval

It will be an interesting match to finish the round, with Southern Districts looking to make up for lost wins in rounds one and two and certainly raring to go against fellow 2018/19 finals foes, Palmerston Magpies this round. While only one win technically separates the two sides on the ladder at the end of Round 5, the Magpies have lost two games worth of points and percentage over the past few rounds making matches like this important as they bounce back from the issue and look to the future of the season. The Magpies have had some terrific form over the past few weeks, defeating sides by 100 plus points in the past two rounds while only going down to the dominant Darwin Buffettes back in Round 3, making this a very interesting contest given the Districts’ ability to generate ball inside 50. Districts’ Ebony Miller will be one to watch with 14 goals to her name at this early stage of the season, while Kelsey Patterson and Lateesha Jeffrey have produced some solid efforts when it matters most, creating an interesting contest against Magpies’ Lisa Roberts and similar ball magnet in Arthurina Moreen (12 goals).

NTFL Women’s Premier League wrap: Round 5 – Crocs and Magpies show bite

WITH another big round of Northern Territory Football League Women’s (NTFLW) done and dusted, all 10 sides have seen plenty of shuffling on the ladder. A number of key players put their best kicking foot forward this week, with seven players kicking three or more goals individually to put their side at their best chance of a tough contest.

PINT 2.0 | 3.0 | 3.3 | 4.3 (27)
ST MARY’S 3.3 | 5.6 | 7.6 | 8.10 (58)

GOALS

Pint: L. Bahen-Wright, C. Morris, J. Hewett, J. Baksh.
St Mary’s: n/A

BEST

Pint: N/A
St Mary’s: N/A

The opening match of Round 5 saw St Mary’s get a solid win on the board for the first time since Round 1, beating Pint by 31 points in one of the closer games of the round. Despite the wet weather and a relatively even start, St Mary’s got the upper hand and took a solid lead into the second half, never looking back as they peppered the goalposts at every opportunity. The Saints ruined the party for stand-in Pint captain Ellie Ryan in her fifteeth match, with a solid team effort defensively making it hard for the Queen Ants to get boot to ball inside 50. In a difficult match the likes of Casey Morris, Jasmyn Hewett, Louisa Bahen-Wright and Jasmin Baksh still managed to put goals on the board, while strong efforts from Saints’ Danielle Ponter and Sharna Edwards kept the side ahead of the pack. This win sees St Mary’s jump into fifth after sinking to seventh with last round’s loss, swapping positions with Pint who were the favourites coming into this match in fifth last round. This will be a big confidence booster for the Saints, but will need to back it up next round to ensure it means something in the long term.

DARWIN BUFFETTES 2.3 | 2.5 | 3.5 | 6.5 (41)
NIGHTCLIFF 0.2 | 0.3 | 1.4 | 1.4 (10)

GOALS

Darwin Buffettes:
Nightcliff:
K. Hill-Carter

BEST

Darwin Buffettes: N/A
Nightcliff: H. Turnbull, M. Ward, E. Morrison, E. Wear

Darwin continued their unbeaten run in Round 5, putting in a tough effort against a strong defence line in Nightcliff to get a solid 31-point victory on the board. Nightcliff’s improvement over the off-season has been put into place well, with the side pushing the top side in patches and denying plenty of opportunities for the Buffettes. Despite rain through the third quarter, the Buffettes did not relent on their pressure, forcing plenty of turnover ball and creating scoring opportunities despite the change in conditions. Machaelia Roberts impressed in her final match for the side, with the Collingwood AFL Women’s recruit finishing her NTFL season early ahead of pre-season AFLW training. For the Tigers, Kirra Hill-Carter booted the side’s only goal in her season debut, while the likes of Hannah Turnbull and Mickayla Ward were named among the Tigers’ best despite the Buffettes keeping the side well under control.

TRACY VILLAGE 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 | 0.1 (1)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 2.0 | 5.5 | 7.9 | 12.12 (84)

GOALS

Tracy Village: N/A
Southern Districts: E. Miller 6, K. Patterson 3, G. Mulvahil 2, L. Niven.

BEST

Tracy Village: N/A
Southern Districts: L. Jeffrey, G. Mulvahil, E. Forsyth, M. Derschow, T. Holtze

Ebony Miller starred in the middle clash of the weekend, producing a dominant performance to spur the Crocs to victory against Tracy Village. While the Razorbacks did not give up throughout, keeping the Districts under 100 points, they struggled to post a score or even find their way inside 50. Alongside Miller’s whopping six goals, Kelsey Patterson booted three, while Grace Mulvahil kicked two in her season debut. Among the best on the day were Districts’ Lateesha Jeffrey who was stalwart as ever intercepting through defence, while Tahlia Holtze and Mulvahil put in solid performances across the board. For the Razorbacks, despite having little chance to get the ball forward there were still some solid performers in Alexandra Biggs and Tara Everett who pushed hard despite the massive deficit. With two breach notices in recent weeks the Districts have not looked too good off the field, so a solid win this round within the rules will go a long way to restoring the side’s record.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 6.4 | 7.9 | 12.19 | 14.19 (103)
BIG RIVER HAWKS 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 (1)

GOALS

Palmerston Magpies: A. Moreen 5, J. Brock 3, F. Puruntatameri 3, K. White, I. Ronberg, W. Barlow.
Big River Hawks: N/A

BEST

Palmerston Magpies: I. Ronberg, J. Brock, F. Puruntatameri, N. Medbury, B. Byers
Big River Hawks: G. Bailey-Preston, M. Dunn, D. Peckham, C. Browne, J. De La Coeur, T. Campbell

Palmerston Magpies cracked one hundred points for the first time this season with a massive 102-point victory over struggling Big River Hawks. The competition’s newest side has struggled to show any real fight against the higher ranked sides this season, well and truly run over week after week which is surely affecting morale around the Hawks camp. Regardless, the likes of Jayde De La Coeur, Crystal Browne and Deanna Peckham have consistently proved they can stand up at premier league level, pushing themselves and their teammates to ensure a contest is fought against their opposition. It was a big match for Arthurina Moreen of the Magpies, booting five more goals to add to her bag of five last week and dominant tally this early in the season, and well and truly setting the bar high for matches to come. Along with Moreen, Freda Puruntatameri and Jessie Brock followed close behind with three goals apiece. While the Magpies came away with a hefty margin and win, they struggled with accuracy at times, kicking 19 behind to their 12 goals, and proving that the Magpies will be a real side to be reckoned with if they can tighten up inside 50.

WARATAH 5.4 | 7.7 | 9.8 | 12.10 (82)
WANDERERS 1.1 | 3.2 | 5.2 | 5.7 (37)

GOALS

Waratah: G. Cusack 4, M. Campbell 3, J. Singh 2, L. Roberts, M. Hunter, L. O’Shea.
Wanderers: S. De Satge 2, T. Bush 2, P. Koulakis.

BEST

Waratah: L. Roberts, M. Gault, M. Gissing, H. Goodall, L. O’Shea
Wanderers: M. Johnston, S. De Satge, P. Koulakis, S. Mauboy, A. Narkle, T. Bush

Waratah put a convincing win on the board this week against a fighting Wanderers outfit, with the Wanderers putting in the hard yards from the get-go but unable to get a third win on the board. However, it was a solid effort for the side given where the differing sides placed last season, proving a massive improvement from the Eagles over the off-season, and delivering a better four-quarter effort than their other losses this season. For the Warriors, this win is a good indication the side is heading back to it’s past season form after a relatively shaky start to the season, with some impressive performers standing up regularly like Jenna Singh (two goals), Madeline Gault and Lisa Roberts. Meanwhile, Gemma Cusack (four goals) and Melissa Campbell (three) well and truly put their names on the map this week with high impact performances. For the Wanderers, Shekeine De Satge and Tedisha Bush booted two apiece to be named in the Eagles best, while Morgan Johnston and Pierre-Angelique Koulakis were consistent as ever despite the hefty loss.

2019/20 AFLW off-season review: Collingwood

IT was a disappointing 2019 season for Collingwood, with a combination of rebuilding through youth and unlucky losses culminating in a Conference wooden spoon. The Magpies were competitive in all their cross-conference games and were unlucky not to potentially get an extra couple of wins, but ultimately could not match it with sides for the full four quarters. After a massive influx of youth walked into the club at the start of last season, it was a different approach 12 months later as Collingwood poached the player of the trade period by securing arch rival Carlton’s captain, Brianna Davey for most of the Magpies’ picks. With pick two and AFL Women’s Rising Star Chloe Molloy also returning after missing the entire 2019 season, the Magpies effectively have two elite talents walking into the Round 1 side.

Aside from Davey, Collingwood had a relatively quiet off-season, with Darcy Guttridge and Iilish Ross departing to expansion clubs, Cecilia McIntosh retired, while the Magpies also delisted a further five players. One of those – Jordan Membrey regained a spot on the Magpies’ list, picked up in the recent AFL Women’s Draft alongside Oakleigh Chargers’ speedster Alana Porter who spent the VFL Women’s season on Collingwood’s list, fellow speedster Machaelia Roberts, former GWS GIANTS’ player Ebony O’Dea and Casey Demons key utility, Kaila Bentveltzen. While the AFL Women’s season was fairly disastrous in terms of wins and losses, the VFL Women’s side took home the premiership, with plenty of AFLW-listed players standing out across the year. That belief, along with the vital inclusions are likely to spur the Magpies on to move up the ladder in season 2020.

OFF-SEASON CHANGES:

IN: Brianna Davey (Carlton), Aishling Sheridan (gaelic), Kaila Bentveltzen (Casey Demons VFLW), Alana Porter (Oakleigh Chargers), Ebony O’Dea (GWS GIANTS), Machaelia Roberts (NT Thunder)
OUT: Darcy Guttridge (St Kilda), Iilish Ross (Richmond), Cecilia McIntosh (retired), Nicole Hildebrand, Melissa Kuys, Georgie Parker, Holly Whitford (delisted)

2020 TEAM LIST:

Sophie Alexander
Jordyn Allen
Kaila Bentveltzen
Britt Bonnici
Ashleigh Brazill
Lauren Butler
Mikala Cann
Sophie Casey
Steph Chiocci
Sarah D’Arcy
Brianna Davey
Sarah Dargan
Erica Fowler
Emma Grant
Georgia Gourlay
Eliza Hynes
Jaimee Lambert
Stacey Livingstone
Katie Lynch
Jordan Membrey
Chloe Molloy
Ebony O’Dea
Alana Porter
Machaelia Roberts
Ruby Schleicher
Maddie Shevlin
Kristy Stratton

Rookies: Sharni Layton, Sarah Rowe, Aishling Sheridan

POTENTIAL 2020 SIDE:

B: Sophie Casey – Stacey Livinstone – Jordyn Allen
HB: Ash Brazill – Ruby Schleicher – Maddie Shevlin
C: Britt Bonnici
HF: Steph Chiocci – Sarah D’Arcy – Sarah Dargan
F: Chloe Molloy – Sophie Alexander – Katie Lynch
R: Sharni Layton* – Brianna Davey – Jaimee Lambert
INT: Eliza Hynes – Emma Grant – Mikala Cann – Georgia Gourlay – Ebony O’Dea
EMG: Sarah Rowe* – Kaila Bentvelzen – Lauren Butler

DEPTH: Erica Fowler, Jordan Membrey, Alana Porter, Machaelia Roberts, Kristy Stratton.

The Magpies’ best 21 is more stable than many other sides, with the draftees likely having to force their way into the side being later picks. Given O’Dea’s links with Steve Symonds through Norwood, the former GWS GIANTS midfielder could well play a specific role within the team and could be a Round 1 starter. The Collingwood defensive back six is pretty settled, with about the last two spots able to be rotated between a number of players, but the likes of Livingstone, Schleicher, Brazill and Casey are pretty set, with Allen and Shevlin able to fill there, or in each of the other thirds on the ground. Bentveltzen has transformed into a defender and could stake a case for a starting role, while Molloy can play at either end. We have her up forward with D’Arcy and Alexander who are the two locks inside 50, while captain Chiocci showed she can play that defensive half-forward role with scoreboard impact as well. Dargan and Lynch fill out the front six because of their upside and rotational ability on wings or through the middle.

The onball brigade is an interesting one. Given Layton’s form at VFLW level, she might well be given first crack at the ruck role, but it is expected they could play the two rucks and Collingwood’s number one ruck from last year – Hynes – will rotate both through that position and up forward. The three midfielders are fairly straight forward, with Davey, Lambert and Bonnici all offering different aspects to the team. The last five to seven spots between the bench and emergency is tough to pick, with the remainder of the list fairly even, and the newbies in Membrey and Roberts already readymade for senior football, while Porter will take some time but could get some games later in the year. Gourlay and Cann made our bench because of their continued improvement at VFLW level and the upside they have, while Grant is a terrific team player likely to be given an early crack to maintain her spot in there.

NTFL Women’s Premier League weekend preview: Round 5

A top four clash and some mid-table battles are among the games this weekend in Round 5 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League.

PINT vs. ST MARY’S
Saturday, November 2, 12.30pm
TIO Oval No. 2

In what could be a mid-table clash with ramifications for finals spots early in the season, the sixth placed Pint host the eighth placed St Mary’s at TIO Oval, No. 2. The sides are coming off very different results last week which makes up the one-win difference between the sides, following St Mary’s heavy 45-point loss at the hands of reigning premiers, Waratah, while Pint got up on the road with a 29-point victory over Nightcliff. The Saints’ Round 4 loss marked three consecutive defeats since their thrashing win over Big River Hawks in Round 1. Danielle Ponter is a key player for the Saints, having brought all of her experience from Adelaide’s AFL Women’s program, while Aailyah Bailey and Nikita Long have been among the able to get some consistency into the team. Pint has had a yo-yo start to the season, with two big wins, a heavy loss to Southern Districts, and a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Palmerston Magpies in Round 1. Adelaide’s Jasmyn Hewett let loose last week to boot three of her team’s seven goals in the victory, while Emma Greaves and Kristen Smits have also been sources of scoring in the opening rounds of the season. Pint goes in as favourite for this clash as it looks to stay in touch with the top four, while St Mary’s needs to win in order to maintain a place in the mid-table logjam and not fall too far behind.

DARWIN BUFFETTES vs. NIGHTCLIFF
Saturday, November 2, 12.30pm
TIO Stadium

The team to beat this season thus far is the Buffettes, with Darwin yet to lose in season 2019/20, sitting a win and a massive percentage clear of Waratah and Wanderers. The last two weeks have brought the Buffettes back to reality despite getting away with the points, defeating Palmerston Magpies (five points) and Southern Districts (10 points) after combined wins of 250 points in the opening two rounds against Tracy Village and Big River Hawks. Tikesa Docherty-Cole booted bags of four and three in her two games this season, while Machaelia Roberts was a massive talent but will be missed when she relocates to Victoria to play with Collingwood following being drafted into the AFL Women’s. Young talents, Dominique Carbone and Tayla Hart-Aluni have also been key to the Buffettes’ success thus far, booting three goals in four games each. On the other hand, Nightcliff has lost its past two games, smashed by Waratah (41 points) and then going down to Pint (29 points) after wins over Wanderers – the only team to do so thus far – and St Mary’s in the opening two rounds. Emma-Lou Wolsey and Laura De Hommel have been named among the best on every occasion, while Shantel Miskin-Ripia has only played a couple of games, but booted six goals, including four on one occasion. The Tigers will be keen to measure up against the ladder leaders in this game.

TRACY VILLAGE vs. SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
Saturday, November 2, 2.30pm
TIO Oval No. 2

Ninth placed Tracy Village will hope to bounce back from what has been an undesirable start to the season, losing three of the first four games by a combined 299 points. Luckily for the Razorbacks they managed to hold off newcomers, Big River Hawks by five points to grab a victory, but Southern Districts will be a tougher assignment in Round 5. The Razorbacks have had quite a number of players already pulling on the jumper this season, with the likes of Gabrielle Young, Tara Everett and Alexandra Biggs among the best, while Nickesha Jones is averaging a goal a game. The Crocs sit at 2-2, but one was a loss to Wanderers which was reversed after having an extra player on game day. Last week the Crocs took it right up to the Buffettes, going down by 10 points but showing they are every bit a finals contender. In 2019/20, Ebony Miller has booted eight goals in four games, with a game-high five goals to be a real influence up forward, while the youth of Mattea Breed and Bella Clarke has provided great enthusiasm throughout the season to-date. Southern Districts should win the game, but stranger things have happened.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES vs. BIG RIVER HAWKS
Saturday, November 2, 3pm
Palmerston Oval

Palmerston Magpies sit ahead of the bell curve in fourth, but are only marginally ahead of their nearest rivals, so a win here is non-negotiable against the struggling new side in Big River Hawks. The Magpies are competitive in every game, with the first three rounds decided by two, 10 and five points respectively, however the Magpies have gone down in two of those matches. The last time out in Round 4 was a different story, with a thumping 20-goal win over Tracy Village stamping the visiting side’s authority on the competition. A win here could also see them move to third with second placed Waratah and third placed Wanderers going head-to-head. Arthurina Moreen has been the hero up forward for the Magpies, booting seven goals in four games, five of which came last week. Janet Baird and Taylah Williams are among others who have enjoyed strong starts to the season thus far in the black and white. For the Big River Hawks, there has not been much joy this season, but one positive is the games are getting closer, with two smashings in the opening two rounds combining for a losing margin of 191 points. In the last two rounds, the losses totalled 25 points. Crystal Browne and Deanna Peckham have played every game this season and provided good support, while Jayde De La Couer has been strong in the forward half. Palmerston would be heavy favourites to take out this game.

WARATAH vs. WANDERERS
Sunday, November 3
Gardens Oval

After a shock loss in Round 1 to Southern Districts, reigning premiers Waratah have got back to business as usual in the past three weeks, notching up wins against Palmerston Magpies, Nightcliff and St Mary’s, with each win looking more impressive by the day. While their percentage is nowhere near that of Darwin’s, Waratah still has a gap on Wanderers, who they need to beat to ensure they stay in the top three. With Palmerston likely to win its match, Waratah could slide to fourth, or even fifth if Southern Districts can have a big upset win over Darwin. The Warriors have shared the ball around this season and in front of goal, with Julieanna Kerinaiua and Monet Hunter both slotting three goals, while Lisa Roberts has been an important source of leadership for the club. For Wanderers, they also bounced back from a disappointing loss to Nightcliff in Round 1, but their formline may be one to be wary with given they had a reversed win against Southern Districts in Round 2, and narrow wins over St Mary’s and Big River Hawks who are bottom four sides. This will be the biggest test in a few weeks, and the likes of Shekeine De Satge and Morgan Johnston will need to be at their best to get up. The likes of Sophie Armitstead and Kayliah Motlop could do some damage through the midfield and up forward, but will have to really step up in this game if the Eagles are to cause an upset against what has been the benchmark team over the past few years.

NTFL Women’s Premier League preview: Round 4 – Top two clash highlights round

ROUND 4 of the Northern Territory Football League Women’s (NTFL) is set to be an interesting one, with a number of big matches making for a tough contest at this early stage of the season.

St Mary’s v. Waratah
Round 4 – 26/10/19
12:30
TIO Oval 2

It is an early season battle between fifth and sixth in the opening match of the round, with St Mary’s set to take on Waratah. While Waratah have not had the start to the season they would have liked, they are still sitting on two wins from three matches making this match a very interesting contest given St Mary’s have lost to two of last season’s cellar dwellers. That being said, the Saints proved back in Round 1 they have the capacity to not only score but apply plenty of scoreboard pressure so cannot be underestimated by the Warriors. Waratah have plenty of players putting pressure on across the field, with Isabella Rapson-Staropoli and Jenna Singh creating issues for their opposition at every opportunity. Aaliyah Bailey has been a fresh burst of youth for the Saints, pairing well with Danielle Ponter to wreak havoc inside forward 50 so will surely put Waratah under the pump this week.

Big River Hawks v. Wanderers
Round 4 – 26/10/19
2:30
TIO Oval 2

Big River Hawks will want to pull out all the stops this week, with a strong effort last round resulting in a devastating five-point loss. The side was so close to their inaugural Premier League win last round against Tracy Village so rest assured they will come out firing against the Wanderers. But for the Wanderers, they are sitting in an unprecedented position in fourth with two wins from three matches after finishing with only two wins all last season, making this a big match for the Eagles who will look to go one-up from last season and put a third win on the board to start the season on a high. For the Hawks, Crystal Brown, Deanna Peckham and Tiahne Munn have shown some good signs across the first few rounds while Wanderers’ Chonntel Vea Vea and Shekeine De Satge have well and truly proved themselves in their early season victories.

Tracy Village v. Palmerston Magpies
Round 4 – 26/10/19
3:00
Tracy Village

In another unprecedented ladder move, Palmerston Magpies are in a far from comfortable position in eighth on the ladder after being one of the teams to beat last season, making the Magpies a big threat to their Round 4 opposition in Tracy Village. The Razorbacks have only won one of their three matches this season, and only managed one behind across their first two games which puts the Magpies in good stead heading into this match. The Magpies will need all their big namers to stand up this week, with Natasha Medbury one who leads by example and Arthurina Moreen able to apply scoreboard pressure credit to her ability to find the ball. For the Razorbacks, Alexandra Biggs and Gabby Young are key while Zhoe Clarke has proved she can have an impact.

Southern Districts v. Darwin Buffettes
Round 4 – 26/10/19
5:00
TIO Oval 2

Southern Districts get the tough match against the undefeated Darwin Buffettes this week, but sitting in second the Crocs have a real chance of knocking the Buffettes off their high horse. While the Buffettes’ percentage is far too high for Districts to jump them with a win, it will give the side a massive confidence boost for the coming weeks. Up until last round the Buffs had only conceded one behind across their first two matches proving their strength not just in the forward line but also defensively, meaning the Crocs will need to produce a stellar performance echoing their Round 3 match against Pint to get over the line. Crocs’ Ebony Miller, Lateesha Jeffrey and Charles Deegan can be massive threats when left to their own devices while similarly the Buffettes have massive power players of their own with Collingwood draftee Machaelia Roberts a shining light for the side and pairing well with Tikesa Docherty-Cole and Michelle Ellis.

Nightcliff v. Pint
Round 4 – 27/10/19
2:00
PSC BM Oval

Nightcliff will look to continue their impressive start to the season, with a tight battle set between Nightcliff and Pint to finish off the round. Despite a far lower percentage than many above them Pint could nab an opportunity to shoot up the ladder with a win this week, while Nightcliff will want to secure a third win for the season to prove they deserve their ranking on the ladder in third after only putting one behind on the board in Round 3. Pint’s Jessie Baumer will be one to watch with four goals under her belt from two matches, while the side has a number of multiple goalkickers at this early stage of the season meaning they could be a force to be reckoned with. For Nightcliff, the likes of Eliza Morrison, Emma-Lou Wolsey and Laura de Hommel have applied plenty of on-field pressure already this season while the side’s leading goal kicker Shantel Miskin-Ripia sits on six majors from two games, making her a huge threat if she takes the field this week.

NTFL Women’s preview: Round 3 – Bottom two face off for first victory

ROUND 3 of Northern Territory Football League Women’s (NTFLW) is coming up this weekend, with a number of big matches set to make or break sides even at this early stage of the season.

Waratah v. Nightcliff
Round 3 – 19/10/19
11:00
TIO Oval 2

The opening match of Round 3 will be an interesting one, with Waratah and Nightcliff completely swapping positions on the table in comparison to their respective 2018/19 season form. While Waratah only lost two matches last season and sit on one win from two matches this season, Nightcliff have already equalled their 2018/19 season wins with two. This match will really see whether Nightcliff have had the improvement they look to have had or whether they have come out with the luck of the draw in the opening rounds. Nightcliff have a smattering of high-impact players, with Shantel Miskin-Ripia the leading goalkicker for the side so far while Kate Morris has also been pivotal to the side’s early victories. for Waratah, Lisa Roberts and Madeline Gault have impressed early despite the side’s form.

Southern Districts v. Pint
Round 3 – 19/10/19
2:00
Norbuilt Oval

This will be a big match, with the two sides only separated by percentage at this early stage of the season but sitting with three other sides in between them. Pint have had a solid start to the season, only going down by two points in the opening round before rendering their opposition scoreless in Round 2, meaning Southern Districts could be in for a tough one despite beating last year’s premiers in Round 1, with a scoreless performance against the Wanderers last week potentially a big thorn in their side. For Pint, expect another solid performance from Jessie Baumer and Erin Hetherington while Crocs’ Charles Deegan, Lateesha Jeffrey and Mattea Breed are sure to speed head-first into the contest.

Palmerston Magpies v. Darwin Buffettes
Round 3 – 19/10/19
3:00
TIO Oval 2

The Magpies have a huge task ahead of them this round, taking on the thus far undefeated Buffettes – who have only conceded one behind for the season so far and are sitting pretty at the top of the ladder. Palmerston are in sixth from two rounds, going down last round to the reigning premiers but proving they have the ability to hold out for a win after a two point victory in Round 1, piling on the defensive pressure. If the Magpies can draw on that pressure again this week and hold off the Buffettes’ plethora of forward options, they could have a real chance of stopping Darwin in their tracks. That being said, the Buffettes have confidence and consistency on their side, making this an interesting contest especially with the likes of Tikesa Docherty-Cole and Machaelia Roberts impressive targets forward with plenty of grunt to get the job done. For Palmerston, expect another solid performance from Natasha Medbury while Arthurina Moreen has plenty to offer.

Wanderers v. St Mary’s
Round 3 – 19/10/19
5:00
TIO Oval 2

Wanderers have had a varied start to the season, unable to put a goal on the board in the opening round before unleashing in Round 2 with a 60-point victory against last year’s grand finalists, Southern Districts. Meanwhile, St Mary’s have had a similar few weeks, dominating against the league’s newest side in Round 1 but defeated by last season’s wooden spooners last week. Aaliyah Bailey is one who has burst onto the scene with St Mary’s, aided up forward by Danielle Ponter creating a real exciting young duo. For Wanderers, Sophia Mauboy put in a solid performance last week while Chonntel Vea Vea can have a real impact with ball in hand.

Tracy Village v. Big River Hawks
Round 3 – 20/10/19
2:30
Tracy Village

In a battle between early strugglers, this match will be very telling of which team could make their way up the ladder after a slow start and which side will continue to be a cellar dweller. While both sides have plenty to bring to the table, neither have really had an opportunity to prove themselves yet so will be raring to go. This will be the real test for both sides as they look to improve on their respective early season struggles, especially as both sides went completely scoreless in Round 2. For the Razorbacks, look to Alexandra Biggs, Grabrielle Young and Tara Everett after stellar performances to start the season while Jayde De La Coeur and Keomi Ross made an impact on the scoreboard in Round 1 for the Hawks, marking themselves as solid options inside 50.

2019/20 NTFL Women’s Premier League season preview

A NEW season of NTFL Women’s Premier League is set to begin this weekend, with a new team added to the mix and plenty of excitement as we head into the 2019/2020 season.

Waratah

The 2018/19 premiers well and truly held their own in convincing fashion, defeating Southern Districts in the grand final to be premiers for the seventh time in eight years. The side had a plethora of talent up forward, with Amy Chittick the leading goalkicker for the season with 27 goals, closely followed by Lisa Miceli (24) and Lauren O’Shea (21) to round out the side’s impressive forward onslaught. Defensively, the efforts of Lisa Roberts were key throughout the season to rebound the footy and propel it forward. With a massive percentage and three 20-plus goalkickers to boot, Waratah are sure to be back for another bit of silverware this season.

2018/2019 Season
Position: 1st (Premiers)
Percentage: 411.84
Win-loss: 13-2-1

Palmerston Magpies

Though the Magpies were frontrunners for majority of the season, they unfortunately went down to Southern Districts in the semi-final to be knocked out of flag contention. Despite a much lower percentage than the top side in Waratah, the Magpies kept in touch with dominant goalkickers of their own as well as a smattering of high impact players that could well and truly change the game when required. Rounding out the goalkicking leaderboard for the season were Magpies’ Freda Puruntatameri (20 goals) and Natasha Medbury (17) while key players Tabitha May and Billie Byers proved their importance on the field time and time again.

2018/2019 Season
Position: 2nd
Percentage: 193.72
Win-loss: 13-3

Southern Districts

The grand finalists may not have been good enough on the day, but they certainly proved their ability to impact the contest time and time again to make it to the big dance with huge wins over St Marys and Palmerston during the finals. With impact players the likes of Tahlia Holtze, Tayla Thorn and Lateesha Jeffrey in the mix the side had plenty left in the tank, however just could not compete in the wet weather against Waratah. A solid percentage and plenty of goalkickers gave Districts the push they needed to make it to the grand final last season but an inability to compete in wet-weather footy was their downfall, meaning they will be back and raring to go once more this season.

2018/2019 Season
Position: 3rd
Percentage: 238.28
Win-loss: 11-5

Pint

Pint will be frustrated by their season-ending elimination final against Darwin Buffettes, knocked out well before they had an opportunity to prove their fourth place finish was deserved. With the likes of Cassie Henderson, Erin Hetherington, Kristen Smits and Danielle Suddaby among the side there was plenty of talent across the field, however it was not enough against powerhouse sides despite their form in the home and away season. It was the side’s inability to impact against teams higher on the ladder early on that kept them out of the top of the ladder, so Pint are likely to push even harder this season to get out of the rut of fourth position and contest against the hard-hitting sides.

2018/2019 Season
Position: 4th
Percentage: 95.24
Win-loss: 11-5

Darwin Buffettes

Another side with a wealth of talent, the Buffettes made it to the semi-final before being knocked out by the soon-to-be premiers at the final hurdle. With the likes of Machaelia Roberts, Celina Whan, Kylie Duggan and young gun Dominique Carbone in the mix there was plenty to be excited about for Darwin, however a confidence boosting win in the elimination final was not enough to get the side into the grand final. Having gone close to cracking 100 points on numerous occasions last season, the Buffettes will want to one-up their 2018/19 form this season and keep their eyes on finals contention once more.

2018/2019 Season
Position: 5th
Percentage: 191.58
Win-loss: 9-7

St Mary’s

Unfortunate to be bumped out in the early stage of finals footy last season, St Mary’s is sure to be back with a vengeance this season, especially safe in the knowledge that the Saints drew even with ladder-topping Waratah back in Round 5 last season – though not much to boast about with the match was called off due to weather conditions. The side had a smattering of big names, with Alana Coombes, Katherine Dann and Marlee Gunderson sharing the load inside 50. Defensively, the likes of Lori Niven and Courtney Webb held up well during the season, unshakeable in their task however were unable to hold up defensively against sides that had a number of goalkicking options in their midst.

2018/2019 Season
Position: 6th
Percentage: 57.56
Win-loss: 5-10-1

Tracy Village

With a seventh place finish last season, Tracy Village just missed out on finals contention. Now the side will surely be ready this season to go that extra mile and ensure a finals berth. While it was only the washout and split points that got St Mary’s over the line last season, Tracy Village just did not do enough in the second half of the season to push past St Mary’s and allow themselves an opportunity in the finals. Kristy Irvine was the side’s leading goalkicker last season closely followed by Rachael Bull, with a number of other players able to have an impact on the scoreboard if it wasn’t for the side being plagued with inaccuracy at inopportune times. Meanwhile, Zhoe Clarke proved key around the ground week in and week out.

2018/2019 Season
Position: 7th
Percentage: 55.78
Win-loss: 5-11

Wanderers

Finishing in eighth, the Wanderers were fortunate to come out of the season off the bottom of the ladder only by percentage. Arthurina Moreen (nine goals from 11 matches) was key for the Wanderers last season, with the side unable to capitalise in front of goal without as key target forward. That being said, Pierre-Angelique Koulakis and Lauren Motlop proved time and time again that they had what it took to get the ball back down the ground, just unfortunately not working in their favour against teams with key figures across the field.

2018/2019 Season
Position: 8th
Percentage: 37.23
Win-loss: 2-14

Nightcliff

Last season’s wooden spooners, Nightcliff will be back with a vengeance this season after falling again and again. Despite rarely finishing games with more than 15 points on the board early in the season, Nightcliff proved they have the capacity to improve and put up a fight to finish out the season much better than they started. Emma-Lou Wolsey, Hannah Turnbull and Sophie Hatzismalis did not give up regardless of the match quality, while young gun Shantel Miskin-Ripia played less than half the season but kicked nine goals from her seven games proving the key position player has plenty in the tank if the ball comes to her and that the side has plenty to prove this season.

2018/2019 Season
Position: 9th
Percentage: 32.88
Win-loss: 2-14

Big River Hawks

The newest side to the NTFL Women’s League for the 2019/2020 season, the Big River Hawks will have plenty to prove when they take on last season’s finalists St Mary’s in Round 1. With little form to go off, the side will be raring to go and put the Hawks on the map this season, especially when taking on two of last year’s finalists in the opening rounds.

VFLW weekend wash-up: Swooping season for Magpies, while Blues grab first win

IT was an interesting round of VFL Women’s action over the weekend, with Carlton shocking the undefeated Dogs, and the Saints continued their great year with another victory, while the Magpies, Tigers and Hawks won as expected thanks to goal bursts at different times of the match.

CARLTON 1.1 | 1.3 | 1.5 | 3.8 (26)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 0.3 | 0.4 | 0.4 | 1.4 (10)

GOALS:

Carlton: S. Hosking, N. Plane, C. Bromage.
Western Bulldogs: M. Sandral.

BEST:

Carlton: E. Woods, C. Bromage, M. Neill, J. Hosking, S. Hosking, N. Stevens
Western Bulldogs: E. Gavalas, K. McLeod, S. Ruedin, L. Bibby, E. Blackburn, K. Lamb

Carlton caused a massive boilover at Ikon Park on Saturday morning when the previously winless Blues upset the undefeated Western Bulldogs in a low-scoring game. The Blues only booted one goal in the first three quarters – just before the quarter time siren – but held the Bulldogs goalless in the first three teams to lead by seven points at the final break. A relatively open final term saw the Blues boot two of the final three goals to record a 16-point win which was vital in getting the AFL Women’s grand finalists VFL Women’s season off and running after five games. Madison Prespakis was enormous with 28 disposals, five marks and six tackles, bouncing back from twice being used as a stepladder in the first half, to produce a big game. Jess Hosking (23 disposals, two marks and nine tackles) and twin sister Sarah Hosking (20 disposals, three marks, four tackles and a goal) were superb, while Breann Moody (18 disposals, six marks, five tackles and 18 hitouts was strong in the ruck), as the youth of the Blues in Emerson Woods, Abbie McKay and Charlotte Wilson all stood tall playing the back half of the ground and McKay through the midfield. For the Western Bulldogs, Ellie Blackburn was a star throughout, picking up 26 disposals, four marks and four tackles, but did miss a couple of running shots on goal in the opening term. Kirsty Lamb (23 disposals, 10 marks and nine tackles) was the other Bulldogs player who impressed across the match.

ESSENDON 1.0 | 1.0 | 2.1 | 3.2 (20)
HAWTHORN 3.3 | 7.4 | 8.7 | 8.8 (56)

GOALS:

Essendon: S. Wilson 2, J. Stassi.
Hawthorn: O. Flanagan 3, P. McWilliams, R. Dillon, R. Beeson, J. Membrey, M. Hutchins.

BEST:

Essendon: K. Heil, S. Wilson, C. McIntosh, L. Ahrens, S. Audley, L. Stepnell
Hawthorn: P. Peschke, O. Flanagan, P. McWilliams, R. Dillon, R. Beeson, C. Dyett

Hawthorn moved to within percentage outside the top six after a dominant first half handed the Hawks a massive six-goal victory at Windy Hill over traditional rivals, Essendon. The Hawks looked on early, booting three goals from six scoring shots – including two majors to Olivia Flanagan – to Essendon’s one major, which came from a 50-metre penalty. The second term was all the Hawks with the Bombers struggling to get it inside 50, as Hawthorn piled on 4.1 to 0.0. Essendon reset for the second half and came out on top for the half, booting 2.2 to 1.4 for the rest of the game to avoid an even larger blowout in the 8.8 (56) to 3.2 (20) loss. Philippa Peschke picked up a game-high 24 disposals for the Hawks, while also laying five tackles. Flanagan played mostly in the forward half, converting three opportunities from her 12 touches, while Rebecca Beeson (23 disposals), Rosie Dillon (22 disposals) and Phoebe McWilliams (18 disposals) all converted one major apiece. For Essendon, Ally Anderson was busy with 23 disposals, two marks and five tackles, while fellow AFLW experienced midfielder, Shae Audley had 21 touches, one mark and a game-high 13 tackles. Kendra Heil (17 disposals, two marks) and Lauren Ahrens (15 disposals, two marks, five tackles) were others who impressed for Essendon.

DAREBIN 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 | 0.1 (1)
COLLINGWOOD 4.3 | 7.5 | 7.10 | 11.13 (79)

GOALS:

Darebin: Nil.
Collingwood: C. Molloy 5, J. Lambert 4, B. Davey, K. Lynch.

BEST:

Darebin: L. Pearce, G. Colvin, B. Patterson, G. Lawson-Tavan, L. Arnell, R. Hicks
Collingwood: C. Molloy, J. Lambert, B. Davey, S. Layton, A. Curley, J. Blecher

A combined nine goals from Chloe Molloy and Jaimee Lambert saw Collingwood completely obliterate Darebin Falcons in the Magpies’ biggest win in the VFL Women’s competition to-date. The Magpies never looked like losing, standing up from start to finish, with just a disappointing third term – yielding three behinds – the one blip on the radar. A bake from coach Penny Cula-Reid at the final break got the Magpies up and about again, piling on four goals in the final term, after booting seven in the first half, to record a huge 78-point victory and gain valuable percentage. The win catapulted the Pies to the top of the table, albeit with one extra game compared to second placed Richmond. Molloy finished the match with a huge 25 disposals, eight marks, five tackles and five goals, while Lambert helped herself to 21 touches, four marks, six tackles and four goals. Both could have had even more with two behinds apiece. The other two standouts for the Magpies were Brianna Davey who had 21 disposals, two marks, seven tackles and one goal, while Sharni Layton played her best match in black and white on her VFL Women’s debut, notching up 18 disposals, 12 hitouts and five marks, while booting two behinds. For Darebin, Lauren Pearce tried hard around the ground with 24 hitouts from 12 disposals and four marks, while Brooke Patterson and Lauren Arnell both picked up a team-high 14 touches in the heavy loss.

NT THUNDER 1.5 | 2.7 | 3.8 | 3.10 (28)
RICHMOND 0.2 | 3.4 | 5.6 | 7.7 (49)

GOALS:

NT Thunder: A. Foley 2, D. Ponter.
Richmond: C. Wakefield 2, K. Brennan 2, T. Stahl, J. Colwell, E. Paterno.

BEST:

NT Thunder: T. Thorn, H. Martin, S. Riley, M. Johnston, K. Streader, K. Irvine
Richmond: G. Seymour, K. Brennan, H. McLaren, R. Miller, J. Colwell, T. Stahl

Richmond has spoiled Northern Territory (NT) Thunder’s homecoming at TIO Stadium, heading home with the four points after an impressive second half to remain undefeated. The Thunder were on top early, booting the only goal of the first term, but could not convert their opportunities with five behinds. Richmond took advantage of this in the second term, booting 3.2 to the Thunder’s 1.2, to hit the front by three points. It was all the Tigers after half-time, extending the lead to 10 points with a quarter to play, before piling on the only two majors of the last term to come away with a handy 21-point victory. Katie Brennan had no problems adapting to the climate, booting two goals from 19 disposals, seven marks and six tackles in a dominant performance, while Gabrielle Seymour was strong in the ruck, picking up 32 hitouts on debut to go with her 18 touches, one mark and six tackles. Kodi Jacques (18 disposals, four tackles), Jenna Colwell (16 disposals, one marks, two tackles, seven hitouts and one goal) and Tayla Stahl-Smith (15 disposals, four marks, one tackle and one goal) were also impressive. For the Thunder, Angela Foley had an unsurprising terrific game with 24 disposals, six marks, three tackles and two goals, while Hannah Martin (17 disposals, one mark and 13 tackles) and Machaelia Roberts (17 disposals, three marks and two tackles) found plenty of the football.

SOUTHERN SAINTS 1.2 | 1.3 | 4.7 | 6.13 (49)
MELBOURNE UNI 1.2 | 2.2 | 2.2 | 3.3 (21)

GOALS:

Southern Saints: C. Greiser 2, K. Shierlaw 2, J. Vogt, J. Owen.
Melbourne Uni: K. Gillespie-Jones, J. Garner, M. Muller.

BEST:

Southern Saints: L. Olsen, O. Vesely, S. Ryan, K. Shierlaw, C. Fitzpatrick, K. O”Neill
Melbourne Uni: K. Gillespie-Jones, A. Runnalls, J. Garner, K. Angelis, J. Bruton, B. Gibson

A dominant five goals to one second half has helped Southern Saints continued their remarkable rise this season with a victory over the highly fancied Melbourne University. The game was tight in the first half, with the Mugars taking a five-point lead into the main break in what was a low-scoring affair at Trevor Barker Beach Oval. After the main break it was all the Saints however, as the home side piled on an effective if not rather inaccurate, 5.10 to deny the Mugars enough time in forward half with the experienced side booting just 1.1 in the half. Tilly Lucas-Rodd was important for the Saints, producing 27 disposals, six marks and three tackles, while Alison Brown picked up 22 disposals, six marks and a tackle, and Olivia Vesely had 18 disposals, four marks and three tackles. Caitlin Greiser continued her strong form inside 50, though could have had an even bigger day than her two goals, booting five behinds to accompany her 12 touches and two marks. For Melbourne University, Jenna Bruton had a game-high 30 disposals, two marks and six tackles, while Jess Trend (25 disposals, seven marks), Kate Gillespie-Jones (22 disposals, five marks, two tackles and a goal) and Jasmine Garner (16 disposals, five marks, 10 tackles and a goal) were also among the Mugars’ best in defeat.

Weekend wash ups: NTFL Women’s – Week 2 finals

THERE is no greater build up for this year’s Grand Final. Southern Districts outworked Palmerston and the reigning premiers smashed their old rivals, Darwin. This weekend Waratah will look to win back to back premierships, while the Southern Districts will play their first Grand Final in NTFL Women’s history.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 2.2 | 3.3 | 5.3 | 5.3 (33)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 2.1 | 3.2 | 4.4 | 7.9 (51)

GOALS:

Palmerston Magpies: F. Puruntatameri 2, Shenaida Bush, Michaeline Brown
Southern Districts: K. Patterson 3, T. Holtze, E. Miller, T. Thorn, L. Jeffrey

BEST:

Palmerston Magpies: B. Byers, F.Puruntatameri, J. Baird, J. Stassi, J. Misob, J. Brock
Southern Districts: T.Thorn, M. Moussa, E. Miller, I. Sleeth, C. Deegan, R. Busch

During the home and away season, the Southern Districts met the Pies twice and lost twice. This time was different as they raised their intensity to block the superior speed of Palmerston and win the game.

The Magpies drew first blood, but the Crocs quickly responded through Kelsey Patterson and Lateesha Jeffrey who snuck forward. Ebony Miller was controlling the hit-outs, but Jessica Stassi kept finding the ball despite the ruck dominance. Shenaida Bush struck back for the Pies by booting a goal late to finish the first term. Down back, Billie Byers was impressive with her run and carry, as she ran around seemingly unchecked by her opposition. However, on the other side of the field, Tayla Thorn was the difference for the Crocs. Thorn’s clearance ability and second efforts at the contest were second to none in the Districts back line.

The second quarter saw a great pack mark by Michaeline Brown inside attacking 50. Dead in front, she made no mistake extending the Pies’ lead to seven points. The Crocs answered quickly as Miller took a mark 40 meters from goal. Miller had no problem making the distance, her goal ending the term. Freda Puruntatameri had been busy for most of the game, but in the premiership quarter she gave Palmerston a touch of magic with a pack mark in the goal-square to kick her first goal of the match. The Crocs bounced back with a quick snap by Patterson, but Puruntatameri kicked an inspirational goal off the burst to head into the final quarter.

The Pies had a five-point buffer but Southern Districts would not be denied. Thorn, Rhiannon Busch, and Charles Deegan were chucked into the centre of the ground. It was the smartest move for the side, as the trio proved their skill in the competition. The clearances and tackles were dominated by the Districts, while the Magpies seemed to be running on empty fumes. Patterson kicked her third to put the Crocs in front, but it was Tayla Thorn’s booming goal that put the game beyond doubt. Tahlia Holtze ended the game with a free kick after the siren to end the well-fought victory for the Southern Districts.

WARATAH: 2.4 | 4.6 | 8.8 | 8.8 (56)
DARWIN BUFFETTES: 1.0 | 2.1 | 3.2 | 3.3 (21)

GOALS:

Waratah: A. Chittick 4, J. De Melo 2, S. Prunntatemeri, S. Nalder.
Darwin Buffettes: M. Roberts 2, M. Breed.

BEST:

Waratah: A. Chittick, L. Roberts, A. Healy, T. O’Hehir, M. Gault
Darwin Buffettes: M. Roberts, K. Duggan, N. Dunn, A. Bryan, C. Whan

A game of missed opportunities and bad mistakes saw Waratah walk away comfortable winners over Darwin.

The game opened up with Machaelia Roberts kicking the first, pushing into the forward line and making an immediate impact. Waratah hit back but only managed four behinds due to inaccuracy. Lisa Roberts was sent to defense, proving a class above the rest with her intercept marking and disposal efficiency. Kylie Duggan, on the other hand, was working hard around the ground. Duggan seemed to be working overtime again for the Buffs, getting plenty of the ball early. Jade de Melo broke the ice for the Warriors, booting their first goal. Amy Chittick was soon to follow with her first to end the term.

Darwin began the second quarter with a positive start. Nicolette Dunn kicked her first goal for the Buffs, keeping her team’s momentum up. It was quickly shattered when Zoe Anderson missed the perfect opportunity to run into an open goal and put the Buffs in front. Waratah responded in kind with Sue Nalder kicking her first for the day, before Sherayn Paruntatameri was next to extend the margin to 17 points and end the first half.

Machaelia Roberts lifted her team in the third quarter by booting the first goal of the term. Mattea Breed was next to snap a goal for the Buffs, bringing the deficit back to 10 points. Unfortunately, Amy Chittick had an instant response for Waratah, kicking two majors. De Melo would add to Darwin’s pain kicking her second, followed by Chittick booted her fourth shortly after, meaning Waratah headed into the final quarter with a heavy lead.

Only one behind was scored in the final quarter as both teams were out on their feet. Waratah simply proved too powerful for the Buffs, and will now head into their seventh consecutive Grand Final.

Weekend previews: NTFL Women’s – Week 2 finals

THIS week’s semi-finals will undoubtedly see the best of the best duel one last time before the ultimate battle. Palmerston’s loss against Waratah was painful, but now they face the Southern Districts. The Pies have beaten the Crocs twice this season, but the Crocs are coming off a high after smashing the Saints. In the afternoon, Waratah will meet Darwin for another classic bout. The Warriors are heavy favourites for this match, and with the Buffs’ extended injury list, it is easy to see why.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES V SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
Saturday, March 2 12:30pm
TIO Stadium

Southern Districts somehow find themselves in St Marys’ shoes at the moment, having met Palmerston twice this season and lost on both occasions. For the Crocs to win they must use every opportunity and advantage they have to deny the Pies the ball. the Districts’ first advantage lies in their ruck stocks. Ebony Miller and Indy Sleeth will make sure their hit-outs give their midfielders first use of the ball. Meanwhile, Jessica Stassi and Natasha Medbury will help to control the clearances. If things get dire, Miller and Sleeth can simply punch the ball forward to gain ground.

Crocs forwards must put Billie Byers inside 50 or she will rebound the ball like it was never there. If Tayla Thorn can get off to the start she had last week, it may set the perfect foundation for the Districts to rise from. Rhiannon Busch is a proven goal kicker and has had a stellar couple of weeks, while Charles Deegan, though recently getting extra attention from defenders, is always dangerous around goals.

On the other side of the field, Shenaida Bush and Freda Puruntatameri are starting to click. This could prove very damaging to the Crocs as both are very quick and deadly accurate. Lateesha Jeffrey and the Districts backline will have a tough task keeping this pair quiet. If they can, it could prove the difference between victory and defeat.

Palmerston will walk into this match favorites, but Southern Districts may give the Pies a shock in this heavyweight bout of the Semi-Finals.

TEAMS

Palmerston Magpies
B: 32. Jess Leamey 15. Charmaine Marshall 20.Ellie Misob
HB: 2.Jessie Brock 13. Billie Byers 10.Jacintha Misob
C: 3.Hayley Davey 24. Tabitha May 33.Janet Baird
HF: 31 Karlee King 1.Nicole Simons 7.Shenaida Bush
F: 28.Tanisha Garling 25.Wynonna Barlow 8.Freda Puruntatameri
R: 18. Bianca Mayo 5.Natasha Medbury 26.Jessica Stassi
Int: 31.Celina Lloyd 12.Joanne Huddleston 14.Tania Parriman
23.Tiffany Parriman 22.Vanessa Mouncy

Southern Districts
B: 17.Chiarah Corpos 30.Donna Reed 21.Tyler Thornton
HB: 14.Maili Clarke 20.Holly Engelhardt 9.Lateesha Jeffrey
C: 10.Megan Craufurd 35.Kelsey Patterson 19.Danielle Opperman
HF: 26.Rhiannon Busch 2.Tayla Thorn 8. Maria Moussa
F: 15.Bella Clarke 4.Indy Sleeth 6.Charles Deegan
R: 3.Ebony Miller 5. Tahlia Holtze 25.Chelsea Pember
Int: 28.Tess Hanna 14.Tessa W 22.Rachele Mchugh
32.Kiarah Jackson 1.Kimberley Mccouat 12.Karina Brink

WARATAH V DARWIN BUFFETTES
Saturday, March 2 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Darwin’s tactics last week may have beaten Pint, but it will not do against Waratah. The Warriors have 15 premiership players returning for this match and no amount of waiting this team out will help the Buffs. The Buffettes have to go for broke and, missing key players in the midfield and forward line, they may have to mix it up. If Dominique Carbone starts in the centre of the ground, it will free up Machaelia Roberts to push forward. Darwin’s forward line looks completely different when Roberts has the opportunity to cause defenders headaches. This leaves Carbone, Jemma Iacono, and Kylie Duggan to tackle Lisa Roberts, Madeline Gault and Alysha Healy in the midfield, which could go either way.

The Buffettes cannot allow Waratah to dominate the clearances. Amy Chittick is the league’s leading goal kicker and now has Lauren O’Shea for assistance. If the Warriors’ forwards get a taste of blood, they will swarm the Buffs’ backline and devastate the scoreboard.

Waratah also has a player similar to Roberts in Sherayn Puruntatameri. She pushed out from half-back last week to bag three majors. Puruntatameri is an X-factor player, which makes her a difficult match-up for Darwin. Celina Whan might be the Buffs’ best choice for Puruntatameri if she plays down back.

Waratah could easily turn this into an ugly game, but perhaps the rivalry will spur the Buffs to challenge the champions.

TEAMS

Waratah
B: 8.Sharona Bishop 6.Rebecca Pryer 19.Alicia Stanley
HB: 15.Isabelle Rapson 16.Julieanna Kerinauia 12.Sherayn Puruntatameri
C: 3.Peta Starcevic 13.Lisa Roberts 2.Madeline Gault
HF: 17.Tarryn O’Hehir 4.Sue Nalder 5.Breanna Martin
F: 9.Amy Chittick 22.Lauren O’Shea 18.Molly Cooper
R: 7.Joanna Kolodziej 23.Pippa Cox 10.Alysha Healy
Int: 28.Trish Muller 29.Madeline Campbell 14.Jade De Melo
24.Alexandra Harrison-Wolff

Darwin Buffettes
B: 25.Chevaune Fewings 15.Delsey Ah Wang 19.Louise Johnstone
HB: 8.Keisha Tinley 12.Dominique Carbone 11.Nicole Schmitt
C: 13. Alexander Bryan 3.Machaelia Roberts 21.Zoe Anderson
HF: 22.Tamika Bullen 17.Melinda Taylor 1.Mattea Breed
F: 10.Meridith Turner 6.Celina Whan 14.Bianca Stokes
R: 30.Tania Dhu 4.Kylie Duggan 5.Jemma Iacono
Int: 27.Demi Cubillo 16.Nicolette Dunn 7.Rachel Henderson
24.Jaala Alley 9.Eliza Keaney 18.Danielle Totham