Tag: rhiannon metcalfe

2020 SANFL Women’s team summaries: WWT Eagles

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

RECORD: 6th (1-3)

RESULTS:

R1: lost to South Adelaide by 4 points
R2: lost to Norwood by 1 point
R3: lost to Sturt by 8 points
R4: defeated Glenelg by 25 points

After going winless in their inaugural season last year, Woodville-West Torrens Eagles were the side every neutral hoped might break through for a victory in 2020. For the first three round it was like Groundhog Day as the Eagles came close time and time again but fell short. They lost by a combined 13 points in the opening three rounds, before breaking the shackles in the final round played and running over the top of Glenelg to win by 25 points.

THE VERSATILE TALENT:

Jaimi Tabb (12.3 disposals, 1.3 marks, 6.7 tackles, 1.3 clearances, 2.7 inside 50s, 1.3 rebounds, 3 goals)

The Adelaide Crows’ AFL Women’s draftee was able to play three of the four games for the Eagles in the SANFL Women’s competition this season, playing a multitude of roles. While in the past Tabb has been an outside ball winner, she can play just as well on the inside or as a leading forward, which she did against Sturt, booting three goals. It is hard to imagine she will get many more games at this level when she cracks into the Adelaide outfit more consistently, but unfortunately she missed out on the club’s inaugural win. A real ball magnet and fierce tackler who never takes a backwards step.

THE GOALKICKER:

Kiana Lee (10.3 disposals, 4.0 marks, 2.5 tackles, 2.3 inside 50s, 7 goals)

She might have missed out on being drafted last season, but Lee continued her strong SANFL Women’s form with seven goals in the opening four rounds. It is hardly a surprise though, because she managed to hit the scoreboard regularly last year in a side that struggled, so with improved performances, Lee was always going to benefit. She did not kick a goal in the opening round loss to South Adelaide, but booted three goals against both Norwood and Glenelg, also taking eight contested marks for the year – second overall in the competition – to show her strength in the air. Still only 18-years-old she has plenty of years left in her and could be a leading goalkicker of the competition in the future.

THE ROCK SOLID DEFENDER:

Tesharna Maher (10.0 disposals, 1.0 marks, 3.0 tackles, 4.3 rebounds, 78% disposal efficiency)

Another Central Allies representative at the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships alongside Tabb and Lee, Maher is the ever-consistent defender who can find the ball and push up the ground when required. She had 10 or more disposals in the first three weeks, averaging 4.7 rebounds per game to go with her average 11.3 disposals, before having less work to do in the Eagles’ win over Glenelg. Not a massive ball winner, Maher just plays her role every week and is one of the leading rebounders with slick disposal that she is able to set up plays with from the defensive 50.

THE CLEARANCE WINNER:

Sophie Zuill (11.3 disposals, 5.3 tackles, 3.8 clearances, 1.5 rebounds)

Ranked inside the top 10 for clearances in the competition, Zuill has been a shining light in a midfield that has been elite defensively, but could still have more potency offensively. She has laid 5.3 tackles and racked up 3.8 clearances for the season, providing a consistent force in midfield to drive the ball inside 50. Her best game came in the loss to Sturt where she amassed 13 touches and had six clearances as a real standout at the coal face.

THE RUCK SAVIOUR:

Rhiannon Metcalfe (11.0 disposals, 3.5 tackles, 3.0 clearances, 18.5 hitouts, 3.0 inside 50s, 1.5 rebounds)

She only played the two games this season, but Metcalfe showed in the win against Glenelg how dominant she can be. The 185cm ruck has often been unavailable due to AFL Women’s duties with Adelaide and a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in January, 2019. In her second game back at the level, Metcalfe amassed 15 disposals, one mark, four tackles, 26 hitouts, four clearances, four inside 50s and one rebound in a big game to help spur her side on to victory. What the future holds is uncertain, but Metcalfe is a huge addition to the line-up whenever available.

THE WARRIOR:

Mikayla Cavallaro (10.3 disposals, 7.7 tackles, 1.7 clearances, 1 goal)

Every side needs a few players who regularly put their body on the line regardless of consequence and for the greater good of the side. The Eagles are the most dominant tackling team in the SANFL Women’s, and leading the way is Cavallaro who has laid a whopping 7.7 tackles per game. It almost does not seem fair she missed out on the Eagles’ inaugural win in Round 4, but has been a strong part of the group around the stoppages with her ability to lock the ball up. Still only 21-years-old, there is plenty of footy in the future for the tough midfielder who is coming off a promising debut start to the season.

SUMMARY:

The Woodville-West Torrens Eagles might only have one win to their name on the record, but easily could have headed into this break undefeated with four strong efforts so far this season. They almost got past the reigning premiers, fell away at the death against Norwood and were competitive against Sturt. If they continue building now that the monkey is off the back with the drought-breaking win, then they will only get better from here on.

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

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

Round 1

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

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

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

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

Round 2

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

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

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

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

Round 3

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

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

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

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

Round 4

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

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

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

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

Summary

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

2020 Top 10 AFLW matches: #9 – Carlton’s comeback proves too strong for the Crows

IN a new countdown, Draft Central recalls the Top 10 AFL Women’s games for season 2020, moving onto our #9 which saw Carlton come from behind to defeat Adelaide in Round 4.

CARLTON spoiled Erin Phillips’ return to footy on Sunday, defeating the Crows by eight points at Richmond Oval in a convincing display. The Blues dominated the disposal count (267-179), the contested possessions (95-73) and the inside 50s (32-27). Although Carlton led the entire last term, the first three quarters were much closer.

Stevie-Lee Thompson was lively for the Crows early, applying some great pressure and setting up Rhiannon Metcalfe for the first goal of the match. Phillips didn’t take long to make her presence felt, making strong impact around the stoppages and taking a nice one-handed mark on a lead. Carlton had 32 more first quarter disposals and despite doing most of the attacking, they squandered multiple opportunities in front of goal. Dayna Cox and Marijana Rajcic had outstanding first quarters for Adelaide in defence, deterring several Carlton attacks with strong spoils and crunching tackles.

Eloise Jones got Adelaide off to a great start in the second with a classy drop punt from the pocket. Ailish Considine followed this with a nice snap goal and the Crows looked on their way to a comfortable lead. However, this all changed when Madison Prespakis and Darcy Vescio combined to drag Carlton back into the game. Nicola Stevens then kicked her first to get the Blues on the board, while Chloe Dalton and Katie Loynes began to make their mark around the stoppages. Vescio was very dangerous in the forward 50 for the Blues and set up Prespakis for their second.

Carlton seemed to over possess the ball early in the third, and Anne Hatchard capitalised by catching her opponent holding the ball and kicking truly. Tayla Harris responded with a 40-metre bomb, then kicked her second after a nice mark just minutes later to give Carlton the lead. The Blues continued to set up strongly behind the ball, building a wall that Adelaide kept blindly bombing into. Facing a two-point deficit at three quarter time, an ankle injury to part-time ruckman Jess Foley did not help matters for the Crows.

The last quarter was played at a high intensity and was filled with stoppages. There was a long scoreboard stalemate until Vescio showed her class once again, beating her opponent one-on-one in the goalsquare to put her side nine points ahead. Carlton’s defence held up brilliantly under-fire in the last term, repelling Adelaide’s attacks and chipping the ball around to take time off the clock. Meanwhile, Adelaide’s forward line was uncharacteristically dysfunctional, with usual contributors Danielle Ponter and Courtney Gum struggling to make an impact. Carlton comfortably closed out the eight-point victory.

Vescio and Prespakis were far and away the best two players on the ground. Vescio was everywhere with 17 disposals, five marks and a vital goal while Prespakis had the ball on a string, collecting 20 disposals, four marks and a goal. For the Crows, Cox played her best game of the season in defence, while Hatchard used her incredible work rate to rack up 27 disposals, seven marks and four tackles.

ADELAIDE 1.2 | 3.2 | 4.3 | 4.4 (28)
CARLTON 0.2 | 2.3 | 4.5 | 5.6 (36)

GOALS:

Adelaide: E. Jones, A. Hatchard, A. Considine, R. Metcalfe.
Carlton: T. Harris 2, M. Prespakis, N. Stevens, D. Vescio.

ADC BEST:

Adelaide: D. Cox, A. Hatchard, J. Mules, E. Phillips, N. Allen, E. Jones
Carlton: D. Vescio, M. Prespakis, K. Loynes, L. McEvoy, C. Wilson, V. Laliofi

Top 10 AFLW matches:

#10 – Crows win at the Cattery in accurate display
#9 – Carlton’s comeback proves too strong for the Crows

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SANFL Women’s Round 4 review: Eagles take home maiden win as Roosters claim outright top

IT has been a long time coming, but it was finally celebration time for Woodville-West Torrens Eagles who celebrated their first win in the club’s history, 14 games into its inauguration. So many times the Eagles have come close, but they got the job done with an impressive second half to down Glenelg by 25 points. In other results, North Adelaide went outright top with a four-point win over South Adelaide, Sturt made it back-to-back wins with victory over Central District, and West Adelaide and Norwood played out the season’s first draw.

WWT EAGLES 1.1 | 2.2 | 4.2 | 7.3 (45)
GLENELG 2.0 | 3.2 | 3.2 | 3.2 (20)

GOALS:

WWT: N. Collie 3, K. Lee 3, S. Walker.
Glenelg: M. Althouse, L. Kenny, M. Speechley.

HIGH DISPOSALS:

WWT: R. Metcalfe 15
Glenelg: T. Kohn 18

After so many close games and near misses, there was finally cause for celebration at Woodville-West Torrens after the Eagles produced a second half to remember and run out 25-point winners over Glenelg on Friday night. The Eagles trailed by as much as 13 points five minutes into the second term, but then took total control of the match to boot the final 6.2 of the game and enjoy a comfortable maiden victory in the SANFL Women’s.

The Tigers were missing a number of starters from the game due to Adelaide Crows’ selection and injury or unavailability, but still looked good early in the match, booting two first quarter goals – Molly Althouse and Lauren Kenny – to counter the Kiana Lee major early in the term. When Melinda Speechley converted the Tigers’ third just 39 seconds into the second term and a behind to Althouse shortly followed, the visitors were up by 13 points. Little did they know that a wave of Eagles goals would follow. Rhiannon Metcalfe added a behind in the sixth minute – the first Eagles’ score since Lee’s major seven minutes into the first term – and then Lee had her second not long after to cut the half-time deficit to just six points. Two minutes into the second half and Stephanie Walker had levelled the scores and 10 minutes later, Lee’s third snag had the winless side a goal up at the break. Still only narrowly ahead, the fans were still nervous. Enter Nicole Collie who took the game by the scruff of the neck and booted three consecutive goals every five minutes in the last quarter to help her side to a 7.3 (45) to 3.2 (20) win.

Not known as a high possession side, the Eagles had 30 less touches and seven less marks, but their reputation as the number one tackling side continued with another remarkable effort of 92 tackles to 74. Woodville-West Torrens also dominated the hitouts 43-28, though the Tigers made more opportunities with clearances (30-24) and had an extra inside 50 (21-20). It was once again the Eagles’ defence that held up in the tough times, recording 16 rebounds to 14, but more importantly, finding a way to score from limited opportunities in what was really a battle between the arcs.

Metcalfe had a team-high 15 disposals, 26 hitouts, four clearances and four inside 50s in the win, a huge reason for her side’s ruck work dominance. Up forward, it was Lee (12 disposals, five marks – one contested, three tackles, two inside 50s and three goals) that did the damage early, while Collie made the most of just five disposals to take four marks – one contested – and boot three majors. Also among the best were Chloe Forby (11 disposals, seven tackles, five clearances and five inside 50s) and Walker (11 disposals, three tackles). For the Tigers, Tessa Kohn continued her brilliant form with 18 disposals, seven clearances, five tackles, three inside 50s, two marks and two rebounds in the loss, teaming well with Lucy Armitage (13 disposals, seven clearances, and 10 tackles) through midfield. Tasja Batzavalis made a welcome return with three inside 50s to go with 12 touches, four marks – two contested – and three tackles, while Tess Morcom tried hard in defence with a team-high three rebounds to go with nine touches and five tackles. Soriah Moon had great experience against Metcalfe, still managing 17 hitouts as well as five clearances to accompany seven disposals.

CENTRAL DISTRICT 0.0 | 1.2 | 1.2 | 2.3 (15)
STURT 2.1 | 3.1 | 4.2 | 4.2 (26)

GOALS:

Central: K. Rosenzweig 2.
Sturt: G. Bevan, L, Firth, Z. Prowse, G. Swan.

HIGH DISPOSALS:

Central: S. Smith 15
Sturt: Z. Prowse 23

Sturt has won back-to-back matches to move into fourth spot on the SANFL Women’s ladder, downing Central District by 11 points. The result handed the Bulldogs their third consecutive loss, and with the Eagles’ win, fell back to last spot on the table. The Double Blues booted three first half goals to lead throughout the contest, and despite Central drying up the scoring in the second half, could not make up the difference as they fell short of a second victory this season, losing 4.2 (26) to 2.3 (15).

Sturt had the perfect start to the match with Louise Firth converting a major for the visitors just 44 seconds into the match, and then Georgia Swan made it two midway through the quarter to help her side to a 13-point lead at the break, keeping the opposition scoreless to quarter time. Georgia Madigan got the Bulldogs on the board in the opening 30 seconds of the second term, albeit with a behind, before Georgia Bevan converted a third major for the Double Blues in the seventh minute for Sturt to stretch the lead out to a straight three goals. Katelyn Rosenzweig continued her good work in front of goal to use her strength and goal sense to kick one as the term was winding down, and by the main break, Central District trailed by 11 points. The scoring dried up in the second half, but Zoe Prowse made it count in the dying moments of the third quarter with her first of the contest, as the teenager was best on ground in the win. Rosenzweig continued to press hard and booted her second major midway through the final term, but ultimately her efforts would not be enough as the home team fell short.

Central had a different approach to its last couple of weeks, winning the disposal count for the first time this season, whilst also laying 29 more tackles than their opponents. Sturt led the marks (31-20) and dominated the hitouts (32-11) helping its strong midfield to get on top in the clearances (29-23). Central managed to keep the ball out of its defensive 50 a fair bit by winning the inside 50s, 23-16, but the Double Blues’ defence was up to the task with 20 rebounds to 11 in the match.

Prowse was the standout player on the ground for the Double Blues with 23 disposals, four marks, 20 hitouts, 10 clearances, two inside 50s and two rebounds making her presence felt. Bevan was also prominent in the midfield group, recording 14 disposals, two marks, three tackles, four clearances and two rebounds, while co-captain Maya Rigter had the nine touches, five tackles and four clearances. Elsie Dawes (eight disposals, four tackles, four clearances and two inside 50s), Jo-Anna Baltais (10 touches, eight tackles and two rebounds) and Isobel Kuiper (10 disposals, eight tackles and two rebounds) were also among the best for the winners.

For the Bulldogs, Shelby Smith amassed a team-high 15 disposals, as well as 10 tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s, while Lauren Breguet was strong through the middle with 12 disposals, seven tackles and four clearances. Up forward Rosenzweig was hard to contain, booting 2.1 from 10 disposals, four marks (three contested), four tackles and two inside 50s, while Alicia Butler (14 disposals, six tackles) and Laitiah Huynh (14 disposals, four tackles) also showed fierce defensive pressure in the loss.

WEST ADELAIDE 0.2 | 2.3 | 3.5 | 3.5 (23)
NORWOOD 0.0 | 1.2 | 1.2 | 3.5 (23)

GOALS:

West: M. Elsegood 2, K. Culhane.
Norwood: M. Breed, A. Gould, S. Hiscock.

HIGH DISPOSALS:

West: R. Martin 20, M. Newman 18, R. Killian 17, K. Culhane 15
Norwood: M. Zander 22, M. Breed 17, L. Cutting 15

West Adelaide has maintained third sport on the SANFL Women’s table, while Norwood keeps its premiership hopes alive after the pair drew in an exciting Saturday evening contest. In a low-scoring affair, the Bloods looked to have the Redlegs covered at the final break, but a 2.3 to 0.0 final quarter resulted in the visitors drawing level by the final siren.

Neither team could register a goal in the opening term, with West Adelaide scoring a couple of behinds through Melanie Elsegood and Helen Maidment. Norwood then had its chances go begging on the other side of quarter time with back-to-back behinds, before the Bloods made the most of their chances midway through the term. Kasia Culhane had an impact coming back into the team with a good goal, followed by Elsegood making good on a chance five minutes later. Mattea Breed missed a chance early in the term but then saluted near half-time to bring the deficit back to seven points. Elsegood added more pressure to the Redlegs in the third term with an early goal with a couple of behinds either side of the major at opposite ends of the quarter going begging. The main positive for the Bloods was the fact Norwood had not scored since Breed’s late goal in the second term. That would change in the final term as Norwood charged home from a 15-point deficit, as Ashlee Gould and Shai Hiscock converted chances with the latter’s coming with just a few minutes on the clock to level the scores and moments after a flying snap from Breed that bent a little too much. Despite both team’s efforts in the final few minutes – West Adelaide doing the bulk of the attacking – neither could find a winning score and the match fittingly finished as a draw.

Statistically the sides were evenly matched across the board with the Bloods having just six more disposals and two more marks, though Norwood controlled the centre square with 10 more hitouts (22-12) and three more clearances (17-14), while West Adelaide had a lot more chances inside 50 (30-20). The Redlegs defence stepped up however, rebounding 27 times to the Bloods’ 16, while West Adelaide’s tackling pressure was a feature of its game with 65 tackles to 51.

Rachelle Martin was arguably best on ground with 20 disposals, three marks, nine tackles and five clearances, working as the dominant clearance midfielder on the Westies’ side. Madison Newman returned to the team and almost pinpointed a crucial pass inside 50 late, finishing with 18 disposals, four marks (one contested), four inside 50s and four rebounds, while Culhane’s inclusion yielded 15 touches, five marks – two contested – five tackles, five inside 50s and a goal. Abbie Ballard (14 touches, six tackles, two clearances), Kate Walsh (13 disposals, two marks, 12 hitouts, three clearances, two inside 50s and two tackles) and Keeley Kustermann (12 disposals, three rebounds) were solid too.

Matilda Zander was a natural ball-winner once again, amassing 22 touches, three marks – one contested – seven tackles, two clearances and three inside 50s, while Breed was arguably the top player on the Redlegs’ team with 17 disposals, four marks – three contested – four tackles, five clearances, two inside 50s and three rebounds, as well as 1.2. Leah Cutting took control in the ruck and had 15 disposals, four marks, 21 hitouts, six tackles, two clearances and four inside 50s, while Michele Reid (13 disposals, five rebounds) and Rebekka McMahon (eight disposals, five rebounds) held up in defence. Jade Halfpenny was equally strong in the air with three contested marks from her five total, also picking up 13 disposals, three tackles, two clearances and three inside 50s.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 3.1 | 3.1 | 3.2 | 3.3 (21)
NORTH ADELAIDE 0.0 | 3.0 | 3.0 | 4.1 (25)

GOALS:

South: J. Kirk 2, N. Campbell.
North: K. Barltrop 2, C. Castle, H. Ewings.

HIGH DISPOSALS:

South: C. Barry 23, N. Campbell 22, C. Cavouras 21, I. Tahau 16
North: L. Daniel 18, L. Gauci 18, K. Pope 17, K. Harvey 15

North Adelaide has remained as the sole undefeated side in the SANFL Women’s competition after a late goal to Kelly Barltrop sealed a four-point win over reigning premiers, South Adelaide. In a grand final rematch, last year’s leading goalkicker might have been the hero, but after a slow start and conceding the first three goals of the match, the Roosters kept the Panthers to just two behinds for the rest of the contest as they booted 4.1 themselves during the 4.1 (25) to 3.3 (21) victory.

Early on it was seemingly like it could be a one-sided contest as Nicole Campbell booted a goal midway through the term, and by quarter time, consistent goalkicker and last week’s dominant scorer, Jess Kirk had 2.1 to her name with goals in the ninth and 14th minutes of the quarter. Without a score on the board and trailing by 19 points at the break, North Adelaide fans wanted a response from their faithful – watching from home of course – and it was Cristie Castle who gave it to them with an early goal to break the deadlock. Barltrop soon chipped in with her first goal since Round 1, while Rising Star talent, Hannah Ewings joined the party for the Roosters to be back within a point by the main break having kicked three goals in six minutes. Neither team could elicit a major in the third term, with young gun, Teah Charlton missing a chance at the sixth minute mark of the third quarter, and the next score came a good 20 minutes later when Ashleigh Woodland also added a behind to her name. When Courtney Barry scored a behind for the Panthers at the 14-minute mark of the final term, they held a two-point lead meaning the Roosters would need a major to win. In a remarkable play for a side that had not scored a goal since midway through the second term, the team went end-to-end and while each of the players managed to hit targets, it was Katelyn Pope‘s daring move to take on an opponent, get the extra five metres and deliver the ball quickly enough into Barltrop to not have a third player come over and spoil. Last year’s leading goalkicker turned around and kicked towards goal seemingly between having a shot and passing to a one-on-one and whilst a hand flew up and Panthers defenders appealed for a touched ball, the goal was given the all-clear and the Roosters held on for a remarkable win.

Both these teams love to use the ball and they clocked over 200 disposals each, though the Roosters had 40 marks to 26, while the Panthers still applied plenty of tackling pressure (78-64). South Adelaide won the clearances (28-21) and dominated the inside 50s (31-16) despite losing the hitouts (29-25). Credit must be given to North Adelaide’s defence that held up well with 26 rebounds to 13, surviving the wave of Panther attacks.

The Roosters shared the ball around with Lauren Gauci clocking up the most touches with 19, as well as four tackles and three rebounds, as Lauren Daniel (18 disposals, four marks, three tackles, three clearances and three rebounds) and Pope (17 disposals, four tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and four rebounds) both got back to help the back six. Kristi Harvey was unstoppable at full-back, a complete brick wall with 15 disposals, eight marks – two contested – six tackles and eight clearances, while Bek Rasheed stood tall in the ruck with 21 hitouts from 11 touches and five tackles. Woodland was not as dominant as past weeks, but still managed 14 disposals, eight tackles and three clearances, while Castle booted a goal from 13 disposals, three marks, three tackles, two clearances and two inside 50s.

South Adelaide had a number of prominent ball winners as Barry led the midfield with 23 disposals, two marks, five tackles, eight clearances and three inside 50s, alongside Czenya Cavouras (21 disposals, 12 tackles, seven clearances and five inside 50s). Campbell was also a prominent ball winner in there with 23 disposals, two marks, nine tackles, three clearances and five inside 50s, as Indy Tahau laid double-figure tackles too with 10, to go with 17 hitouts, 16 disposals and two inside 50s. Jaslynne Smith was the standout defender for the Panthers, having a remarkable eight of her team’s 13 rebounds as well as 11 touches and five marks. Kirk again made the most of her chances with 2.1 from just four disposals, but she laid five tackles too.

2020 AFLW Preview: Round 6 – Dees and Blues face off in conference-defining clash

ROUND 6 of AFL Women’s 2020 begins the race to finals with only two rounds to follow and still plenty of changes that could take place on both conference ladders. A few key wins are up for grabs with Richmond still hoping for an inaugural win while North Melbourne and Fremantle will both want to keep top spot on their respective leaderboards. Meanwhile, Melbourne and Carlton will battle it out in what looks like the match of the round.

Geelong v. North Melbourne
Friday 13 March, 7:10pm
GMHBA Stadium

Taylah Melki

The Cats host North Melbourne under lights on Friday night. Geelong currently sit fourth on the ladder while the Kangaroos have first spot locked up. North are on a four game winning streak and will be hoping to extend their run of hot form against a trying Geelong side who have won their past two games.

Although Geelong do not have a host of big name recruits, it is their brigade of young guns that is the most damaging aspect of their side. In her first uninterrupted season, Nina Morrison has enjoyed her time out on the park with her natural ball winning ability, game sense and dynamism on full display. Fellow second year player Olivia Purcell will also be hoping to continue her dominant form in the hotly contested match while the bull-like Richelle Cranston has impressed so far this season with her dash across the ground. Renee Garing has been another consistent performer for the Cats while Aasta O’Connor will once again be hoping to show her aerial strength with her marking ability. A livewire up forward, Phoebe McWilliams will be another to keep an eye on given her ability to bob up and hit the scoreboard while Anna Teague will be hoping to add to their goalkicking tally.

North Melbourne have gone from strength to strength so far this season with Emma Kearney leading the way with her contested ball work. Kearney is in a league of her own, constantly working hard to win the footy at the coalface while also showcasing her impressive defensive efforts laying strong tackles. Jenna Bruton is another key contributor for the Roos with her brute force while the likes of Ash Riddell and Jasmine Garner have upped their intensity throughout the season to round out a formidable side. Garner not only increased her influence around the footy but her presence in front of goal too, making her a key component to the Roos’ forward line. Kaitlyn Ashmore is coming off a four goal haul, an effort she will be hoping to repeat this round while Sophie Abbatangelo is also handy in front of the big sticks. Ruck Emma King is also key to the North Melbourne outfit. If King can have a dominant impact out of the middle with her clever taps and ruckwork it will put her side in a good position. Although she is still a young developing player, Mia King is another one to watch out for given her ability to find the footy and most importantly use it effectively.

Tip: 

GEELONG

B: M.Brown 19 M.McMahon 24
HB: M.Keryk 45 M.McDonald 11 M.Hickey – C 18
C: N.Morrison 9 R.Webster 21 S.Van De Heuvel 27
HF: R.Garing 12 P.McWilliams 23 D.Higgins 2
F: R.Cranston 30 J.Ivey 5
Foll: A.O’Connor 14 J.Crockett-Grills 6 O.Purcell 16
I/C: K.Darby 8 G.Rankin 10 A.McDonald 3 A.Teague 40 C.Blakeway 4

Emerg: N.Garner 22 R.Goring 44

In: J.Ivey, C.Blakeway
Out: R.Goring (Omitted), G.Clarke (Omitted)

NORTH MELBOURNE

B: N.Bresnehan 12 T.Randall 16
HB: S.Wright 17 D.Hardiman 31 A.Gilroy 8
C: J.Grierson 19 E.Kearney – C 9 J.Bruton 35
HF: S.Abbatangelo 1 B.Gibson 18 D.Bateman 11
F: E.King 60 K.Ashmore 10
Foll: V.Saad 39 A.Riddell 7 J.Garner 25
I/C: K.Gillespie-Jones 5 J.Trend 21 E.Gavalas 22 M.King 23 T.Nestor 24

Emerg: D.Bannister 2 E.Humphries 6

In: None
Out: None

Brisbane v. Collingwood
Saturday, 14 March, 2.10pm 
Hickey Park

Sophie Taylor 

Brisbane lost top spot in Conference A last round so are sure to be back with a vengeance this week when they host Collingwood on Saturday afternoon. While Brisbane have shone for the most part this season, a few blips in the radar have left them wanting and this chance against the Magpies is one they will want to take with both hands. But while the Magpies have had a hard time on the injury front this season, a solid win last week will have left them confident and ready for a tough slog this week when they travel up the east coast.

Brisbane have a host of talent that they aren’t afraid to put out on the field, with forward Jesse Wardlaw up there in the goal count across the competition and a keen eye in front of goal, able to have an impact inside 50 with her clever movement and tenacity going for the ground ball. Wardlaw has booted at least one goal per game this season and was knocked off the goalkicking perch last round so will want to continue her consistency with another bag this week. Emily Bates and Alex Anderson continue to be real threats across the field, averaging 22.6 and 20.8 disposals respectively, and creating a formidable opposition. Meanwhile, the side will rely on the likes of Catherine Svarc and Sophie Conway to continue their tackling ways and maintain possession. Young gun Lily Postlethwaite has had a solid few weeks on the track so will want to replicate that form while Jess Wuetschner booted two goals last round to prove she’s back with a vengeance.

For Collingwood, this is ultimately a make or break game. A win here would see them slot in nicely in the top four of Conference B and set up a good run home, but a loss could see the Magpies miss out on finals contention once more. Jaimee Lambert has continued her impeccable form in recent rounds, leading the way and proving a key cog in attack. Chloe Molloy has an ability to impact wherever she is on the field, creating an exciting contest with her intensity and clean hands. Meanwhile, Sharni Layton leads the hitout tally for the season so far and has had a breakout season in the ruck, with her strength, height and ability to get first to the footy making her a tough opponent to come across. Layton has been named across half back in the absence of Ash Brazill to injury, so will work with the likes of Stacey Livingstone to hold down the fort in defence. Britt Bonnici and Bri Davey have continued their consistent form, backing up Molloy and Lambert in their efforts.

Tip: Brisbane by 14 points.

BRISBANE

B: S.Webb 4 S.Campbell 20
HB: C.Svarc 25 K.Lutkins 13 E.Zielke – C 8
C: R.Lugg 11 A.Anderson 18 S.Conway 12
HF: L.Arnell 16 J.Wardlaw 30 J.Wuetschner 23
F: D.Davidson 14 I.Dawes 17
Foll: J.Keeffe 27 B.Koenen 3 E.Bates 1
I/C: N.Grider 10 O.O’Dwyer 9 L.Postlethwaite 6 M.Moloney 28 L.Bellinger 26

Emerg: J.Zanchetta 2 S.Priest 19

In: L.Bellinger
Out: G.Bodey (Injured)

COLLINGWOOD

B: A.Porter 9 S.Livingstone 12
HB: L.Butler 23 S.Casey 22 S.Layton 1
C: S.Rowe 7 M.Cann 25 S.Chiocci – C 17
HF: S.Alexander 24 S.D’Arcy 4 B.Davey 3
F: J.Lambert 13 C.Molloy 2
Foll: A.Sheridan 14 B.Bonnici 8 E.Fowler 15
I/C: E.Hynes 11 M.Shevlin 35 J.Allen 6 J.Membrey 21 E.O’Dea 50

Emerg: K.Stratton 41 S.Dargan 46

In: None
Out: None

St Kilda v. Richmond
Saturday, 14 March, 5.10pm AEDT
RSEA Park

Sophie Taylor

This match pits two lower ranked sides against each other, with both St Kilda and Richmond sitting at the bottom of their respective conferences. While St Kilda have at least gotten a win on the board, this match is a real opportunity for Richmond to get an inaugural victory before the season is up. Both teams omitted a plethora of names heading into this match, leaving both sides with fresh bodies out on the field in hope of getting a win on the board.

St Kilda are sure to put up a big fight against the ailing Tigers, with some solid form throughout the season despite not necessarily getting the wins. The side has continued to compete throughout the season, going close but no cigar with difficulty putting goals on the board a real issue. Caitlin Greiser will want to continue her solid form which sees her as the leading goalkicker for the Saints with seven majors for the season. Her ability to use her body to find the footy and follow up going for the ground ball is what makes her a real excitement machine for the side, and having booted two goals on three occasions this season, expect her to go one better this week. Georgia Patrikios and Olivia Vesely have been real ball magnets for the side throughout the season while Tilly Lucas-Rodd has been a machine off the half back with 36 intercept possessions and Nat Exon is averaging 6.2 tackles per game, applying solid pressure.

The Tigers will miss Katie Brennan again this week with the captain sidelined once more with concussion, making this a tough battle for Richmond as they continue to fight for their first win of the season. While the side has struggled to stop goals this season, they have also had a tough time putting goals on the board which is the real catch, unable to reduce the margin and ultimately putting in all the effort downfield but getting no return. Monique Conti has been a shining light throughout the season with the 20-year-old proving a constant threat while Sabrina Frederick has been left wanting forward, not having the desired impact but ultimately not getting the footy much inside 50. Kodi Jacques and Phoebe Monahan have continued to ply their trade and apply pressure while the loss of Lauren Tesoriero to precautionary coronavirus isolation is a frustrating blow to an already struggling side.

Tip: St Kilda by 29 points.

ST KILDA

B: T.Luke 22 C.Fitzpatrick 24
HB: H.Priest 14 A.Brown 2 T.Lucas-Rodd 18
C: N.Exon 15 R.Dillon 25 M.McDonald 1
HF: D.Guttridge 5 J.Sedunary 10 C.Greiser 17
F: K.Shierlaw 12 O.Vesely 23
Foll: R.Watt – C 7 N.Xenos 27 C.Phillips 35
I/C: C.Whitfort 4 P.Kelly 16 G.Patrikios 21 A.Drennan 8 I.Shannon 11

Emerg: E.Mackie 3 K.O’Neill 20

In: T.Luke, J.Sedunary, C.Whitfort
Out: K.O’Neill (Omitted), E.Mackie (Omitted), S.Johnson (Omitted)

RICHMOND

B: A.Makur Chuot 34 G.Seymour 28
HB: H.Whitford 20 I.Ross 21 P.Monahan 2
C: C.Bernardi – C 6 S.Molan 1 K.Dempsey 19
HF: M.Brancatisano 5 S.Frederick 14 R.Miller 15
F: C.Wakefield 8 T.Stahl 24
Foll: A.Edmonds 11 M.Conti 4 G.Campbell 43
I/C: C.Fitzgerald 26 K.Jacques 10 H.Burchell 9 N.Butler 22 A.Woodward 13

Emerg: L.Bailey 12 E.Wood 17

In: I.Ross, C.Wakefield, C.Fitzgerald, N.Butler, A.Woodward
Out: L.Bailey (Omitted), E.Wood (Omitted), L.McClelland (Suspension), L.Tesoriero (Illness), S.Sansonetti (Rested)

Melbourne v Carlton
Saturday, 14 March, 7.40pm AEST
TIO Traeger Park

Sophie Taylor

Melbourne and Carlton head into Round 6 unchanged from last round, with both sides having put impressive wins on the board last week and only separated by percentage heading into the run home. Likely to be the best match of the round, the battle between the Dees and Blues is set to be a close one with both sides boasting a number of key players across the field.

Karen Paxman has been a ball magnet for the Dees in 2020, making her mark with clean hands, good run and carry and an ability to hit targets with ease, while the defensive pressure of Libby Birch, Daisy Pearce and Harriet Cordner down back has been a real task to be reckoned with, with the work off the half back relieving plenty of pressure close to goal. But while the Dees have a smattering of key players in the mix, they had a rough start last week against West Coast and they just can’t afford that this week against the Blues. Eden Zanker has had a breakout season for the Demons in the ruck and heading forward, booting four goals and ultimately a solid threat wherever she is on the field with her aerial ability and clean hands – traits she shares with fellow joint-leading goalkicker Kate Hore.

An even spread of talent across Carlton’s lineup is what will ultimately worry the Demons this round, with consistency and an ability to score quickly both real threats to a Melbourne victory. Maddy Prespakis has thus far backed up a stellar first season of footy, averaging 22 touches per game this season and providing a key run down the field for the Blues. Off the half back, Kerryn Harrington and Vaomua Laloifi have applied some solid pressure with the duo working well to crowd the play and bring the footy to ground, enabling Prespakis and fellow young gun Grace Egan to clear the footy. Tayla Harris continues to be a big threat up forward, having booted at least one goal every match this season and a great target up forward.

Tip: Melbourne by five points.

MELBOURNE

B: H.Cordner 21 L.Birch 9
HB: S.Lampard 8 D.Pearce – C 6 S.Goldrick 23
C: C.Sherriff 18 T.Hanks 28 C.Emonson 11
HF: K.Hore 10 A.Newman 16 S.Scott 12
F: T.Cunningham 1 N.McEvoy 17
Foll: E.Zanker 29 K.Paxman 4 M.Gay 3
I/C: J.Parry 19 E.O’Dea 5 S.Perkins 33 B.Tarrant 20 L.Mithen 14

Emerg: K.Petrevski 31 G.Colvin 32

In: None
Out: None

CARLTON

B: G.Pound 6 C.Wilson 20
HB: K.Harrington 9 V.Laloifi 8 J.Edwards 25
C: L.Brazzale 12 C.Dalton 15 S.Hosking 10
HF: N.Stevens 21 T.Harris 7 D.Vescio 3
F: A.Downie 30 L.McEvoy 13
Foll: B.Moody 16 G.Egan 1 M.Prespakis 4
I/C: N.Plane 32 K.Loynes – C 2 B.Walker 14 G.Gee 19 J.Hosking 11

Emerg: B.Vernon 31 J.Doonan 26

In: None
Out: None

Western Bulldogs v. Fremantle
Sunday, 15 March, 1.10pm AEDT
VU Whitten Oval

Michael Alvaro

Fremantle’s undefeated record is once again on the line as it travels to Melbourne for a second time this season, taking on the battling Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval. The Dockers stamped their authority as the league’s leading side with an impressive win over Brisbane last time out to take their record to 5-0, and will fancy their chances against a developing Dogs lineup. But in front of an adoring home crowd in Footscray, the young pups will be keen to arrest a four-game losing streak and showcase the promise their list reverberates on paper.

Another member of the class of 2019 is set to debut for the home side, with top 10 pick Nell Morris-Dalton beating out former Northern Knights teammate Britney Gutknecht for the final spot in the Dogs’ lineup to join her Under 18 skipper, Gabby Newton at the top level. Nicole Callinan was the other player in contention to replace the omitted Hannah Scott, but fell just short of returning for her first game since Round 2. Morris-Dalton should add some strength in the air for the Bulldogs inside forward 50, with fellow 2019 draftee Gemma Lagioia swapping defensive duties to lineup at her feet in the pocket. The midfield trio of Ellie Blackburn, Kirsty Lamb, and Aisling McCarthy will take their form into this clash, with their work set to be cut out for them against a strong Fremantle following set.

The Dockers are set to come in with just one change of their own, resting electric draftee Roxy Roux with Mia-Rae Clifford, Sarah Garstone, and Bianca Webb lined up to take the vacant spot. Fremantle will look to stretch the Bulldogs up forward, as is the case most weeks, with the match-up between Gemma Houghton and Isabel Huntington set to catch the eye. The Dockers’ dynamism with Sabreena Duffy – coming off four goals – and Ebony Antonio at ground level makes them hard to stop, and midfield service from Kiara Bowers and Kara Antonio constantly sets the tone for their success.

Expect the Dockers’ weapons from midfield to forward to be too much for the developing Bulldogs, but the travel factor may come into effect later on in the contest, with the Dogs a chance to snatch an unlikely win if they can stay in the contest for long enough.

Tip: Fremantle by 21

WESTERN BULLDOGS

B: A.Guest 19 L.Spark 11
HB: E.Brown 9 I.Huntington 4 N.Ferres 16
C: B.Hunt 21 K.Lamb 27 B.Lochland 1
HF: G.Newton 5 K.Rennie 24 K.McLeod 6
F: N.Morris-Dalton 25 G.Lagioia 12
Foll: C.Moody 13 E.Blackburn – C 2 A.McCarthy 15
I/C: K.Herron 31 D.Berry 7 E.Georgostathis 17 D.Marshall 26 H.Munyard 20 B.Gutknecht 18 N.Callinan 10

In: N.Morris-Dalton, B.Gutknecht, N.Callinan
Out: H.Scott (Omitted)

FREMANTLE

B: L.Mascall 14 J.Cuthbertson 29
HB: E.O’Driscoll 3 P.Seth 18 L.Pugh 32
C: K.Antonio – C 15 H.Miller 19 J.Stewart 7
HF: E.Antonio 12 A.Sharp 1 G.O’Sullivan 22
F: G.Houghton 27 S.Duffy 6
Foll: M.Strom 21 K.Bowers 2 K.Grieve 13
I/C: K.Flood 44 A.Stannett 24 E.Gooch 8 L.Rohde 11 S.Garstone 16 B.Webb 26 M.Clifford 4

In: B.Webb, S.Garstone, M.Clifford
Out: R.Roux (Rested)

Adelaide v. Greater Western Sydney
Sunday, 15 March, 3.10pm AEST
Hisense Stadium

Michael Alvaro

Adelaide will be out to make good on a two-game losing run when it hosts GWS at Hisense Stadium on Sunday. The reining premiers have endured an indifferent first half to their flag defence, holding a negative 2-3 record on the back of an injury-hit campaign to date and bearing the brunt of a tricky draw over the last fortnight. On the other hand, the 3-2 GIANTS have taken full advantage of the games they were expected to win – albeit with each one coming over three of the four 2020 expansion teams. The step-up in competition has proven difficult for the Sydneysiders, and Adelaide will provide as tough a test as any team despite its shortcomings this season.

Four inclusions are set to make the Crows side that bit more formidable this week, with dual AFL Women’s best and fairest Erin Phillips headlining the quartet of returnees. The Adelaide champ comes in alongside fellow midfielder Najwa Allen, while Deni Varnhagen and Eloise Jones also crack the extended squad. Coming the other way in terms of omissions will be Madison Newman and ruck Rhiannon Metcalfe, with 2019 draftee Montana McKinnon impressing in the tri-colours on debut last week and retaining her spot. The Crows’ midfield looks to be running smoothly with the combination of Ebony Marinoff and Anne Hatchard winning plenty of ball, so the additional target of Phillips will hopefully aid them in terms of fluency going forward.

A trio of inclusions will be vying for one spot in the GIANTS’ side as Nicola Barr finds herself hamstrung, with Taylah Davies, Georgia Garnett, and Emily Goodsir all up for selection in the 23-player squad. The GIANTS’ wealth of experience will definitely match that of the Crows, with stand-in skipper Jess Dal Pos heading a team which is capable of returning consistent performances. Alyce Parker and Rebecca Beeson make up a dynamic midfield duo in the continued absence of Alicia Eva, with Beeson also set to rotate forward alongside Haneen Zreika. It may be fitting that the injury blows finally benefit Adelaide, and the fortnight of key casualties for GWS will really test its depth, but that experience should see the GIANTS through to a competitive result.

Speaking of depth, Adelaide’s wealth of genuine options to run through the middle of the ground should prove to be a vital factor as it comes into the game as favourite on home turf, with Phillips adding that third prong despite likely playing predominantly forward. The hard-nosed nature of Hatchard and Marinoff should hold up very well against the more athletic pairing of Parker and Beeson, with McKinnon’s job in the ruck crucial against GWS’ Jessica Allan. Count the GIANTS out at your own peril, but the Crows’ hard edge and top-end talent should see them over the line in front of home fans, with a win able to draw the two sides level on points in Conference A.

Tip: Adelaide by 18

ADELAIDE

B: D.Cox 31 S.Allan 39
HB: A.Foley 3 M.Rajcic 32 S.Li 19
C: J.Mules 23 E.Marinoff 10 A.Considine 16
HF: E.Jones 2 E.Phillips – C 13 S.Thompson 14
F: D.Ponter 15 C.Gum 5
Foll: M.McKinnon 21 A.Hatchard 33 N.Gore 7
I/C: N.Campbell 20 N.Allen 8 R.Forth 27 J.Tabb 28 C.Biddell 12 D.Varnhagen 9 C.Gould 1

In: E.Jones, E.Phillips, N.Allen, D.Varnhagen
Out: M.Newman (Omitted), R.Metcalfe (Omitted)

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY

B: P.Randall 21 T.Hetherington 9
HB: L.Steane 20 E.Bennetts 22 A.Lister 14
C: J.Dal Pos – C 7 B.Tully 36 A.Schmidt 11
HF: S.Halvorsen 30 R.Privitelli 19 J.Hicks 5
F: C.Staunton 13 J.Barclay 34
Foll: J.Allan 39 A.Parker 3 R.Beeson 6
I/C: H.Zreika 24 E.McKinnon 23 T.Mackrill 32 L.Stephenson 12 T.Davies 16 E.Goodsir 1 G.Garnett 17

In: E.Goodsir, T.Davies, G.Garnett
Out: N.Barr (Hamstring)

West Coast v. Gold Coast
Sunday, 15 March, 5.10pm AEST
Mineral Resources Park

Michael Alvaro

Two sides coming off losses meet to round out the weekend’s action, with West Coast set to host Gold Coast in a battle of 2020 expansion clubs. The Eagles were hauled back down to earth with a thud in Round 5 after picking up their maiden AFL Women’s win the week before, copping a 59-point thumping at the hands of Melbourne. Gold Coast, only half a game to the better of its weekend opponent, has suffered consecutive losses for the first time in its short history, but the SUNS’ competitive spirit should put them in good stead for an improved performance in this clash.

The visitors are set to welcome back Hannah Dunn after a week on the sidelines, slotting straight back into the SUNS’ midfield to boost their ball winning stocks. Debutant Sally Riley also comes into the lineup as the second confirmed inclusion, with Tori Groves-Little and Jasmyn Hewett the two unlucky omissions while Maddy Roberts and Taylor Smith find their way onto an extended bench. Gold Coast’s engine room has been a highlight in its inaugural campaign, with Dunn adding to the likes of Jacqui Yorston and the red-hot Jamie Stanton this week, while Leah Kaslar and Lauren Aherns heading up a promising back five which features three 2019 draftees.

West Coast’s changes are a touch more forced, with McKenzie Dowrick and Emily Bonser both ruled out through illness, with Melissa Caulfield attached to the managed tag this week. Chantella Perera, the player to be managed in Round 5, returns to her customary full back role in a boost for the Eagles, with Mhicca Carter the second inclusion for the hosts. On an extended bench, Tarnee Tester, Katherine Orme, and Danika Pisconeri are all chances to sneak their way into the side should any more disruptions arise. While the midfield pairing of Dana Hooker and Emma Swanson has worked admirably for the Eagles, they have struggled to find a consistent spread across the field in 2020. The competition’s least potent attack and second most leaky defence are titles which do not bode well against any side, especially given the SUNS’ strength and competitiveness in the back five.

While both teams can only boast one win in their maiden campaigns, the SUNS have arguably made the bigger inroads and have been able to keep each game competitive on the scoreboard. Their better spread of contributors across the field, and an especially stingy defence in this game should carry them to a second AFL Women’s victory. But on home turf, the Eagles will be sure to put up a better fight than the previous week, though the travel factor may be lessened given West Coast is coming off a game in Melbourne.

Tip: Gold Coast by 13

WEST COAST

B: S.McDonald 35 C.Perera 27
HB: C.Davidson 33 B.Smith 14 C.Guard 4
C: M.Bowen 1 N.Kelly 12 K.Gibson 2
HF: M.Collier 8 G.Kelly 15 I.Cameron 19
F: A.Atkins 9 M.Carter 21
Foll: P.Laurie 25 D.Hooker 17 E.Swanson – C 13
I/C: T.Tester 23 E.McGuire 31 H.Bullas 24 K.Orme 32 B.Devlyn 7 D.Pisconeri 11 T.Radan 26

In: C.Perera, M.Carter, T.Tester, K.Orme, D.Pisconeri
Out: M.Caulfield (Managed), M.Dowrick (Illness), E.Bonser (Illness)

GOLD COAST

B: J.Pregelj 42 S.Watson 14
HB: L.Kaslar – C 11 L.Ahrens 7 E.Hampson 21
C: T.Ernst 19 J.Stanton 17 P.Parker 1
HF: K.Surman 26 B.Perry 16 K.Howarth 23
F: T.Smith 13 S.Riley 8
Foll: L.Bella 2 H.Dunn 24 J.Yorston 5
I/C: C.Hammond 29 D.Heslop 25 J.Hickey 4 M.Ritson 12 M.Roberts 10 T.Thorn 15 S.Virgo 22

In: T.Smith, S.Riley, H.Dunn, M.Roberts
Out: T.Groves-Little (Omitted), J.Hewett (Omitted)

ROUND 6 TIPS: [Total tips in brackets]

Michael Alvaro [27]: North Melbourne, Brisbane, St Kilda, Melbourne, Fremantle, Adelaide, Gold Coast
Taylah Melki [27]: North Melbourne, Collingwood, St Kilda, Carlton, Fremantle, Adelaide, Gold Coast
Sophie Taylor [26]: North Melbourne, Brisbane, St Kilda, Melbourne, Fremantle, GIANTS, Gold Coast
Peter Williams [24]: North Melbourne, Collingwood, St Kilda, Carlton, Fremantle, GIANTS, West Coast

Carlton’s comeback proves too strong for the Crows

CARLTON has spoiled Erin Phillips’ return to footy on Sunday, defeating the Crows by eight points at Richmond Oval in a convincing display. The Blues dominated the disposal count (267-179), the contested possessions (95-73) and the inside 50s (32-27). Although Carlton led the entire last term, the first three quarters were much closer.

Stevie-Lee Thompson was lively for the Crows early, applying some great pressure and setting up Rhiannon Metcalfe for the first goal of the match. Phillips didn’t take long to make her presence felt, making strong impact around the stoppages and taking a nice one-handed mark on a lead. Carlton had 32 more first quarter disposals and despite doing most of the attacking, they squandered multiple opportunities in front of goal. Dayna Cox and Marijana Rajcic had outstanding first quarters for Adelaide in defence, deterring several Carlton attacks with strong spoils and crunching tackles.

Eloise Jones got Adelaide off to a great start in the second with a classy drop punt from the pocket. Ailish Considine followed this with a nice snap goal and the Crows looked on their way to a comfortable lead. However, this all changed when Madison Prespakis and Darcy Vescio combined to drag Carlton back into the game. Nicola Stevens then kicked her first to get the Blues on the board, while Chloe Dalton and Katie Loynes began to make their mark around the stoppages. Vescio was very dangerous in the forward 50 for the Blues and set up Prespakis for their second.

Carlton seemed to over possess the ball early in the third, and Anne Hatchard capitalised by catching her opponent holding the ball and kicking truly. Tayla Harris responded with a 40-metre bomb, then kicked her second after a nice mark just minutes later to give Carlton the lead. The Blues continued to set up strongly behind the ball, building a wall that Adelaide kept blindly bombing into. Facing a two-point deficit at three quarter time, an ankle injury to part-time ruckman Jess Foley did not help matters for the Crows.

The last quarter was played at a high intensity and was filled with stoppages. There was a long scoreboard stalemate until Vescio showed her class once again, beating her opponent one-on-one in the goalsquare to put her side nine points ahead. Carlton’s defence held up brilliantly under-fire in the last term, repelling Adelaide’s attacks and chipping the ball around to take time off the clock. Meanwhile, Adelaide’s forward line was uncharacteristically dysfunctional, with usual contributors Danielle Ponter and Courtney Gum struggling to make an impact. Carlton comfortably closed out the eight-point victory.

Vescio and Prespakis were far and away the best two players on the ground. Vescio was everywhere with 17 disposals, five marks and a vital goal while Prespakis had the ball on a string, collecting 20 disposals, four marks and a goal. For the Crows, Cox played her best game of the season in defence, while Hatchard used her incredible work rate to rack up 27 disposals, seven marks and four tackles.

Adelaide will look to respond next Saturday against North Melbourne in Hobart, while the Blues host St Kilda at Ikon Park on Saturday night.

ADELAIDE 1.2 | 3.2 | 4.3 | 4.4 (28)
CARLTON 0.2 | 2.3 | 4.5 | 5.6 (36)

GOALS:

Adelaide: E. Jones, A. Hatchard, A. Considine, R. Metcalfe.
Carlton: T. Harris 2, M. Prespakis, N. Stevens, D. Vescio.

ADC BEST:

Adelaide: D. Cox, A. Hatchard, J. Mules, E. Phillips, N. Allen, E. Jones
Carlton: D. Vescio, M. Prespakis, K. Loynes, L. McEvoy, C. Wilson, V. Laliofi

SANFL Women’s preview: Round 3 – Top of the table clash headlines triple header

A TOP of the table clash between North Adelaide and West Adelaide headlines the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s Round 3 this weekend as part of a triple header at Flinders University Stadium. Fellow undefeated side South Adelaide will face Norwood in the final game of the day, with Woodville-West Torrens and Sturt both searching for their first win in the middle game. To open the round, Central District will hope to add another loss to Glenelg’s season, with the Bulldogs also looking to take advantage of the top two sides going at it.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. GLENELG
Saturday, February 29, 11.30am
X Convenience Oval

Opening up the third round of action is fifth placed Central District taking on seventh placed Glenelg in what is a crucial game for both clubs. The Bulldogs showed in the opening round against Norwood that they have improved on their inaugural season last year, and while they were taken to town by a rampaging North Adelaide side, will have learnt plenty from that disappointing loss. Heading into this clash, the home side should start as favourites against a Glenelg side yet to make its mark in 2020. For teams battling for a finals spot, this is considered a must-win contest, and one that both clubs no doubt would have marked as a crucial game when the fixture came out. Central will likely jump into the top four with a victory despite the 54-point defeat last week, with the Redlegs who sit fourth, taking on third placed South Adelaide. For Glenelg, a third loss and the season is very quickly slipping away. Last year’s grand finalists North Adelaide had a slow start to 2019, so it is not all lost, but the Tigers need to start picking up the pace and it is worth cutting them some slack as they have played the two most in-form teams in the competition thus far.

Statistically, Glenelg is not all that bad despite the two losses, sitting second overall for hitouts differential (+24), which is area they can exploit the Bulldogs in (-25) who are ranked seventh in the category differential for this season. The Tigers are also third overall for tackles differential with +20, just behind Central (+21). The Bulldogs also have a more predominant kicking style to Glenelg’s mixed style, though the Tigers also have the lowest disposal count of any side this season (339), though the Bulldogs have the lowest differential (-111), which is understandable after last week.

The Bulldogs have lost both Danielle Stewart and Jayme-Lee Sonneman for this clash, while bringing in six players to an extended bench, including Alicia Butler who looks to slot straight into half-back having been recalled for her second game of the season, alongside 19-year-old Keely Cannizzaro. The Bulldogs’ strength this season has been their defence, with the likes of Kimberley Fry (9.5 disposals, 3.5 rebounds) and Demi Sonneman (12.5 disposals, 4.5 rebounds) holding up firmly back there. In her first season at the club, Shelby Smith has been a welcome addition with 15 disposals, 3.5 marks, 3.5 tackles, 3.5 clearances and two rebounds per game, working hard through the middle and getting back to support the defenders. Up forward, equal-leading goalkicker Katelyn Rosenzweig (five goals) showed in Round 1 which she is capable of, and while she only managed the one goal last week, is always a headache for opposition defenders. The only concern will be the fact that Rosenzweig has booted five of the club’s six goals this season, so finding more avenues to goal is key.

Looking at the Tigers, they had plenty of scoring options in Round 1, but wasted them with a 2.10 scoreline against the ladder leaders. They then were completely restricted with just 1.2 in Round 2 against the Bloods, so have technically only booted the three goals this season. Glenelg has brought in a couple of players for their debuts in Lauren Kenny and Brooke Tonon with the latter representing South Australia at Under 16s level last season and is highly touted. The only forced change is the loss of Tasja Batzavalis due to concussion, while bringing in three others, including Tess Morcom back into the middle and Jessica Searle straight to full-back. Sam Franson is the X-factor up forward, with the 20-year-old averaging 10 disposals and laying a massive 6.5 tackles per game, while in defence, Madisyn Freeman has averaging 10.5 disposals, 2.5 tackles and 3.0 clearances.

In order to win this clash, Glenelg must make the most of its chances, while Central Districts must win the midfield battle and restrict Glenelg’s chances of scoring, while getting it forward as often as possible. This should be a thrilling contest with everything on the line.

MATCH OF THE ROUND:

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Saturday, February 29, 3.45pm
Flinders University Stadium

The first match of a bumper triple header at Flinders University Stadium tomorrow pits first and second against each other in what should be the match of the round. With third placed South Adelaide onlooking ahead of its own clash, the loser knows it will likely drop to third, though it is not the end of the world given these two have established themselves as genuine contenders, albeit early in the season. North Adelaide was somewhat fortunate in the opening round to get over the line by four goals against a wayward Glenelg, making the most of its chances with 7.4 to 2.10, before ironing out any cobwebs in the second round with a nine-goal smashing of Central District. West Adelaide looked more convincing in its opening game with a 21-point victory over Sturt, before handing out a 40-point beating of the Tigers in Round 2. Realistically it should have been even more with the Bloods booting 6.12, which is something they simply cannot afford to do here. The winner places themselves in a really good position almost a third of the way through the season in what is ultimately a short season. Both these line-ups have star players and this is anticipated to be an absolute beauty.

Statistically speaking, these sides are ranked top two for disposals, and second and third respectively for disposal differential, as the Roosters have a massive +76 in the category. They love playing a possession style of game, and both are more than comfortable using a handball-style or kick-first mentality. The Roosters are also ranked third in inside 50s differentials with +16, while West Adelaide is marginally ahead with +20. Despite winning both its games comfortably, the Roosters back six deserves credit with only a -2 differential, which ranks them fifth overall. The Bloods on the other hand have just 22 rebounds for the season – the lowest of any side, with the second worst differential. In saying that, they do not allow it to get in there, with a dominant clearance game that has them miles ahead of the competition with a +28 differential in clearances, despite a surprising -29 in hitouts. In other words, the Bloods have been sharking their opposition ruck taps, and doing it so effectively. The midfield is where they can take advantage, whereas the Roosters are happy to build up from the back six and with so many scoring options inside 50, they can cause some damage to a West Adelaide defence that is yet to have a serious threat placed on it.

North Adelaide has made three three changes to its side for Round 3, welcoming in Erica Greet, Mollie McKendrick and Katelyn Pope, with Greet playing her first game of the season, basketballer McKendrick her first with the club, and Pope recalled after playing in Round 1 against Glenelg. Having already mentioned how strong the North Adelaide defence is, the Roosters will be prepared for West Adelaide to win its fair share of inside 50s off a high volume of clearances. Kristi Harvey (9.5 disposals, 2.0 marks and 4.5 rebounds) and Amber Ward (12.5 disposals, 3.0 marks, 3.5 tackles and 2.0 rebounds) have been superb as key defensive posts in the back 50, while Lauren Gauci had an outstanding game in the Roosters win over Central, picking up 21 disposals, six marks (two contested), two clearances and three rebounds in just her second career game at the level. Up forward, Kelly Barltrop is yet to really stamp her authority on the competition after her leading goalkicker award last year, but it is a positive that the Roosters have had plenty of contributors, with Ashleigh Woodland (four goals) and Kathryn Reynolds (three) both having strong starts to the year. Woodland in particular is a damaging player, averaging 14 disposals at 79 per cent efficiency, while booting 4.2 from 19 touches and five marks last week in an outstanding performance. Cristie Castle could well be leading the Roosters’ best and fairest at this stage, with the 29-year-old averaging 19 disposals, 5.5 marks, 2.5 clearances, 2.5 inside 50s, 2.0 tackles and 1.0 goals per game. It will be up to the likes of Leah Tynan (12.5 disposals, 3.0 clearances) and Lauren Daniel (18.5 disposals, 4.0 clearances) to try and quell the influence of the West Adelaide midfielders.

West Adelaide has brought in three players to an extended bench, losing Kasia Culhane to injury, which will be a blow after the forward booted three goals in the first two rounds and looked a lively forward inside 50. Into the side comes Lauren Rodato, Nicole Hooper and Rachael Killian, with Rodato recalled after playing Round 1, and Hooper and Killian playing their first matches since 2018 – if selected. Rodato has been named at centre half-back to support the work of Keeley Kustermann (14.5 disposals at 90 per cent efficiency) who has been reliable as ever in the back 50, despite the Bloods having the lowest amount of rebounds. The reason for that is the work of Rachelle Martin, Abbie Ballard and Zoe Venning who have formed a remarkable midfield trio. Martin has averaged 18 disposals, 5.0 clearances, 7.5 tackles and 3.0 inside 50s per game and while her disposal efficiency could improve (53 per cent), most of her work is done at the coalface which allows her teammates to run the ball forward. She was one of a number of players who really could have had a day out last week, booting three behinds to go with 21 touches, five clearances and four inside 50s. Ballard is leading all-comers when it comes to disposals, averaging 21 per game thanks to her 27 touches in Round 1. Like Martin, she is a contested ball winner who can spread to the outside, averaging 3.5 marks, 2.5 tackles, 5.5 clearances and 3.0 inside 50s per game. Venning – who is remarkably only 16-years-old but in her second season at West Adelaide is slightly below the others on volume, but has the highest disposal efficiency from her 15 touches, 3.5 marks, 3.0 tackles, 2.5 clearances and 2.0 inside 50s. Importantly, she also hits the scoreboard, averaging a goal a game thus far this season. Speaking of hitting the scoreboard, Melanie Elsegood is the equal leading goalkicker with five goals from her two marches, making the most of her 7.5-disposal, 2.5-mark averages.

There is a reason this is match of the round. You have the best clearance side up against the dominant scoring team which means both sides are going to be tested in ways they are yet to be tested. If the Bloods can continue to dominate the clearances, then their high volume of inside 50s will undoubtedly lead to a high score, though if North Adelaide can get on top, then they will cause all sorts of problems for the West Adelaide defence, which will have its first big test of the season in this game.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS vs. STURT
Saturday, February 29, 5.30pm
Flinders University Stadium

After a blockbuster top of the table clash, two sides looking to get on the board in season 2020 go at it from 5.30pm. Woodville-West Torrens is yet to win in the SANFL Women’s since joining the competition 12 months ago. The Eagles have come close on a number of occasions, including last week where they led by as much as 19 points against Norwood before suffering a one-point defeat due to a goal in the last minute to help the Redlegs get over the line. In Round 1, they also led South Adelaide for portions of the game, only to fall short by less than a kick, and if form is any indicator to go by, then this should be the time they break the drought. Sturt sits on the bottom of the table having booted just three goals for the season, going down to West Adelaide by 21 points in Round 1, before being handed a 34-point defeat at the hands of the Panthers last week. That could have been a lot worse given South Adelaide booted 5.13 for the game, but in short, Sturt will need to lift for this contest. Similar to the opening game of this round, both these sides would have identified at the start of the season for this game to be a must-win against an opponent it is capable of beating. The winner of this match gets back on track in season 2020, while the loser will be at least two games outside the top four and having to play catch-up which is not ideal in such a short season.

Statistically the Eagles are better off, and are far and away the standout tackling team of the competition. They have laid a whopping 166 tackles this season, with 79 and 87 respectively each round to be the number one side both weeks. Their defensive pressure is not in question, though their handball game can sometimes get them unstuck. They have the lowest kick-to-handball ratio at just 1.42, which compared to the top team in that category (Central) which has 3.3, it shows the Eagles look to move the ball quickly by hand. Depending on the execution this can be a huge advantage, but also hurt going the other way, with the Eagles also only taking the 37 marks – the lowest of any side this season – while Sturt is third overall with 90, and has the second highest differential of +40. It is clear that this game will be a battle between two different styles, with Sturt looking to get to the outside and work their way inside 50 with calculated movement, while the Eagles will use a handball-style game to get it going in quick transition. Sturt’s big deficiency is giving its forwards best chance to score with a competition-low clearance count (31) and inside 50s count (23) with the lowest differential in both stats following a -25 and -33 respectively. This is an area they will no doubt focus on for this game, while the Double Blues defence to their credit has held up with a competition-high differential of +24 in rebounds.

Woodville-West Torrens have made three confirmed changes, with the loss of Adele Gibson due to a knee injury disappointing, and former West Adelaide captain Alison Evans brought in up forward to replace her in the front half having played in the narrow Round 1 loss. They have also brought in the exciting Jaida Tabb, the 15-year-old younger sister of Eagles and AFL Womens’ player Jaimi (13.5 disposals, 7.5 tackles, 3.5 inside 50s and 2.0 rebounds), with the latter named at full-forward to try and mix up the forward half. She will team up with fellow South Australian representative at last year’s AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships, with Kiana Lee leading the way in terms of scoring for the Eagles, booting three first half goals last week after surprisingly going goalless in round 1. When up and about, Lee knows how to fly for her marks, taking a massive six contested grabs from seven marks this season. While the Eagles have the scoring options, their defenders deserve credit as well, with Jovanka Zecevic (10 disposals, 5.0 tackles) and teenagers, Tesharna Maher (11 disposals at 77 per cent efficiency, and five rebounds) and Jamie Parish (six disposals, three marks) all holding up the back six. Former Adelaide AFL Women’s ruck, Rhiannon Metcalfe played her first game last week and will be better for the run, building into the game and could try and quell the influence of Sturt’s top three ruck ranked division.

The Double Blues have tried to keep as much stability as possible and not panic despite back-to-back losses, as Hannah Dreckow is the sole out for the last placed side, bringing in 18-year-old debutant Arabella Brown, as well as Cherie Bamford and Alysha Healy. Sturt has some serious top-end talent, but it is just about bringing through the next tier of players and continuing the development of the young players running around in the Double Blue. Co-captains, Georgia Bevan (19 disposals, 2.5 marks, 8.0 tackles, 2.0 clearances, 2.0 inside 50s and 3.0 rebounds) and Maya Rigter (15 disposals, 4.5 marks, 9.0 tackles, 2.5 clearances and 2.0 rebounds) running at 82 and 87 per cent efficiency respectively have been the top two players for Sturt, while Hannah Prenzler (13.5 disposals, 6.5 marks, 3.0 tackles and 3.0 rebounds) has been one of the top defenders in a side that has tried to hold up against some fierce attacking movement of top three sides. Sturt just has to find a way to score more, with the defensive set up and midfield duo a tick, and some young talent coming through. Zoe Prowse and Isobel Kuiper are a couple of teenagers who are the next young stars for Sturt, with the 16-year-old Prowse already entrenched as a ruck who can rest forward, while 17-year-old Kuiper has been playing through the middle and averaging five tackles per game to go with her 10 touches.

This game should be a close one with Woodville-West Torrens showing greater signs so far this season, but Sturt have some of the top players who could lift the Double Blues over the line. If the Eagles can get it forward and work it well down the ground with their ball movement to unsettle the Sturt defence it will help, while the Double Blues will look to get it long and try and force the attacking defenders of the Eagles to double think their decisions out of the back 50.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. NORWOOD
Saturday, February 29, 7.15pm
Flinders University Stadium

The final game of the round pits two SANFL Women’s heavyweights against each other with inaugural premiers, Norwood going up against recent back-to-back premiers, South Adelaide. The Panthers had the Redlegs’ measure last season, going on to win the flag from second as Norwood tumbled out in straight sets, but both these sides have changed a fair amount since last season. Based on the opening first two rounds, the Panthers have made do by winning both their games, while Norwood has struggled to adapt with a completely new midfield group. To the Redlegs credit though, they came back from 19 points down to win against Woodville-West Torrens last week, largely thanks to three goals from Jo Hill. They cannot afford to drop that far behind against South Adelaide however, though the Panthers too had to come from behind to beat the Eagles back in Round 1, before a much more comfortable win over Sturt last week.

Looking at the stats, South Adelaide is a possession-style team ranked first in both disposal (+97) and kicking (+47) differentials for season 2020 thus far. They also have the most inside 50s of any side (63) and highest differential in that stat (+28). Ranked second overall for handball differential (+50), by sheer weight of numbers they have the most handballs of any side as well, which shows they can use the ball down the field in multiple ways. The Panthers’ defence has the lowest rebound differential of any side (-19), but that comes as no surprise seeing as how often the ball has spent time up the other end of the field. In Round 1, South Adelaide had just nine rebounds against Woodville-West Torrens, but the Eagles were unable to capitalise in that game. What makes Norwood good is the Redlegs’ outside game, with the highest marking differential of any side (+47), well ahead of South Adelaide’s (+5). They also lead the way in hitouts with 30 per game (+29 differential) thanks to the work of Leah Cutting. Defensively, Norwood has been out-pressured by its opposition, with the second lowest tackle count, but more damning is the lowest tackle differential of -52. South Adelaide is the second worst with -20, but only had four less than Sturt last week, whereas in Round 1, Norwood was -17 against Central District. Both sides were well out-tackled by the number one tackling side in the Eagles.

The Panthers have been forced to make at least two changes, with Annabel Gordon and Callie Wilson (both ankle injuries) out of the game among four confirmed outs. Into the side comes six players to an extended bench, with Chloe Jacobs named to make her debut for South Adelaide. The biggest inclusion is Madison Bennett who slots straight into a front six that is already incredibly potent after the 20-year-old was recalled for Round 3. With Cutting’s dominance in the ruck, it will be a great test for young gun, Montana McKinnon to step up again and continue her wonderful form this season with the 18-year-old averaging 16.5 disposals, 4.5 marks, 3.5 clearances, 6.0 inside 50s and 2.5 tackles per game. Accumulating the ball like a midfielder, McKinnon can also go forward and provide a tall target, with top draft prospect Teah Charlton (19 disposals at 87 per cent efficiency, 5.5 tackles, 4.0 clearances and 4.0 inside 50s) also in the forward half and capable of the incredible. In the midfield, Czenya Cavouras (17.5 disposals, 6.5 tackles and 4.5 clearances) and Tahlia Meyer (15 disposals, 2.5 tackles and 2.5 inside 50s) are natural ball winners, with Indy Tahau (15 disposals, 4.5 clearances, 3.0 tackles, 2.5 inside 50s and 2.0 marks) and Elyse Haylock (18 disposals, five tackles) – who played her first game of the season last week – forming a really dangerous onball combination.

Norwood has made four chances to its winning side last week, still trying to find the right mix to build on its performance. Despite having plenty of improvement left in them, the Redlegs have been able to stabilise their season thus far with a 1-1 record. Thrown up either end, Michele Reid has been named in the forward pocket for the match, while Ella Murison comes into the back pocket. Both players are versatile, with the 38-year-old Reid playing a defensive role in the first round, and has been called up for a different spot in Round 3, while Murison was the opposite with a couple of inside 50s against the Bulldogs in Round 1, but now named deep in defence. Cutting has been a huge influence in the midfield with a competition-high 20.5 hitouts to go with 10 disposals, 3.5 marks and 6.0 tackles per game.  She has been working well with the likes of Bella Smith (10 disposals, 4.5 marks, 2.5 tackles, 4.5 inside 50s) and Matilda Zander (17.5 disposals, 4.0 marks, 3.0 tackles, 2.5 inside 50s, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 clearances) through midfield, while Mattea Breed (17.5 disposals, 2.0 marks, 4.0 tackles, 5.0 inside 50s and 3.5 clearances) really shone in Round 2, and has been roaming up the ground at half-forward clunking some strong marks and leading the way. Sophie Armitstead (14 disposals, 3.5 clearances and 3.0 tackles) is another player who has enjoyed a solid season thus far, and it is expected once Norwood can adjust to its new line-up in season 2020, it will be a threat to any side.

South Adelaide deserve to be favourites in this clash, but Norwood has steadily improved. While the Panthers are more of a running possession side than a tackling one, they would see that defensive pressure has unsettled the Redlegs at times, though Norwood has been a dominant team in the ruck duels and also capable of kicking goals quickly. Neither side can afford to switch off during this game if they are to be triumphant.

2019/20 AFLW off-season review: Adelaide

REIGNING premier Adelaide is a deserving favourite of chasing its third AFL Women’s flag in four years after keeping together an already impressive list, and adding a host of young and experienced stars to its roster. There were plenty of tears when two-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) Erin Phillips went down with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in the 2019 AFL Women’s Grand Final, and just as many recently when Chelsea Randall suffered the same injury that has now ruled her out of the 2020 season.

But through some shrewd recruiting, the Crows picked up the only other MVP winner in the AFL Women’s short history, with former GWS GIANTS’ star Courtney Gum returning back to South Australia after retiring, then opting to give the elite level another crack. Along with Gum, Montana McKinnon will provide the immediate relief for the loss of Jess Allan who headed to the GIANTS due to work, while Jess Sedunary was the only other player to leave for another club, joining St Kilda. Rheanne Lugg and Sally Riley both found second homes through free agency, while Jenna McCormick retired to focus on her international soccer career. Joining the club along with McKinnon through the draft were 2019 Under-18 All Australians, Jaimi Tabb and Madison Newman, while versatile talls, Caitlin Gould and Chelsea Biddell add some much needed depth to the Crows – especially now Randall has gone down. The other two recruits were South Adelaide ball winner, Nicole Campbell, and the best South Australian women’s player in the state league in Najwa Allen who crossed to the state for the 2019 season and showed just how talented she is through the midfield.

OFF-SEASON CHANGES:

IN: Montana McKinnon, Nicole Campbell, Courtney Gum (South Adelaide), Najwa Allen (Norwood), Jaimi Tabb (WWT Eagles), Caitlin Gould (Glenelg), Madison Newman, Chelsea Biddell (West Adelaide)
OUT: Jess Sedunary (St Kilda), Jess Allan (GWS GIANTS), Rheanne Lugg, Sally Riley, Katelyn Rosenzweig, Sarah Perkins (delisted), Jenna McCormick (retired)

2020 TEAM LIST:

Sarah Allan
Najwa Allen
Chelsea Biddell
Nicole Campbell
Dayna Cox
Courtney Cramey
Angela Foley
Jessica Foley
Renee Forth
Nikki Gore
Caitlin Gould
Courtney Gum
Anne Hatchard
Eloise Jones
Sophie Li
Ebony Marinoff
Montana McKinnon
Rhiannon Metcalfe
Justine Mules
Madison Newman
Erin Phillips
Danielle Ponter
Marijana Rajcic
Chloe Scheer
Jaimi Tabb
Stevie-Lee Thompson
Deni Varnhagen
Ruth Wallace

Rookie: Ailish Considine
Inactive list: Hannah Martin (ACL), Chelsea Randall (ACL), Maisie Nankivell (netball)

POTENTIAL 2020 SIDE:

B: Dayna Cox – Sarah Allen – Justine Mules
HB: Courtney Cramey – Marijana Rajcic – Angela Foley
C: Courtney Gum
HF: Danielle Ponter – Chloe Scheer – Erin Phillips
F: Eloise Jones – Stevie-Lee Thompson – Deni Varnhagen
R: Jessica Foley – Anne Hatchard – Ebony Marinoff
INT: Renee Forth – Najwa Allen – Ailish Considine* – Courtney Cramey – Montana McKinnon
EMG: Jaimi Tabb – Rhiannon Metcalfe – Sophie Li

DEPTH: Chelsea Biddell, Nicole Campbell, Nikki Gore, Caitlin Gould, Madison Newman, Ruth Wallace, Hannah Martin*, Chelsea Randall*

*ACL injuries

It is clear the Crows have enviable depth on their roster with a ridiculous amount of talent that is hard to squeeze into the side. Adelaide might opt to begin blooding more young players in season 2020, as the likes of Courtney Cramey, Rhiannon Metcalfe, Sophie Li and even Phillips come towards the twilight of their careers. The huge question will be whether or not Phillips can return in time for the start of the season, but if not, you can be sure she will run out at some stage such is the elite professionalism and determination of the athlete.

Expect names such as McKinnon and Allen to push for a Round 1 spot, with Gum the other obvious choice if fit. The loss of Randall is huge, meaning Marijana Rajcic might have to play taller, or they opt for a team defence. Caitlin Gould could also slot in there, but is likely to take time to adapt to the level, with Newman, Tabb and Nikki Gore others one can expect to feature at some stage. The Crows have plenty of ‘Plan Bs’ with Biddell a readymade key forward option, much like Campbell in midfield, and then there’s the ruck experience of Metcalfe just waiting in the wings. From the dominant midfield to the firepower up forward, this side is every chance to go back-to-back and no-one will be surprised if the super-human athlete in Phillips makes it back for an early return.

AFLW H2H Battle: Early 90s v Late 90s

IN our first AFL Women’s Head-to-Head Battle, we have created teams of 24 players to determine which end of the 90s might prevail in a head-to-head clash. For the early 90s team, we have those AFL Women’s players born between 1990-1994, and for the late 90s, we have the 1995-1999 births. We have not included any player that made their debut in season 2019. As you will see from the two different sides, the early 90s is stacked through the forward line with a strong defence, while the late 90s midfield is very deep with strong players up both ends. It made for a very difficult task of picking just 24 players for each side, and picking a winner is just as difficult.

Early 90s – 1990-1994:

B: Nicola Stevens – Chelsea Randall – Hannah Scott
HB: Bianca Jakobsson – Elise O’Dea – Ebony Antonio
C: Alicia Eva – Kara Donnellan – Kaitlyn Ashmore
HF: Christina Bernardi – Katie Brennan – Jasmine Garner
F: Jess Wuetschner – Darcy Vescio – Brooke Lochland
R: Emma King – Dana Hooker – Jessica Dal Pos
INT: Nat Exon – Sarah D’Arcy – Jaimee Lambert –  Kate McCarthy – Sarah Perkins – Deni Varnhagen

The Early 90s team features the best of the best from 1990-1994 births, with a forward line that is All Australian quality, and an enviable spine that would win one-on-ones galore. In defence, captains, Adelaide’s Chelsea Randall and Melbourne’s Elise O’Dea hold down key spots, with Hannah Scott taking the third tall role, and the likes of Nicola Stevens, Bianca Jakobsson and Ebony Antonio providing run from the back half.

In the midfield, the early 90s team features some seriously underrated players. Fremantle duo, Kara Donnellan and Dana Hooker, GWS GIANTS’ duo Jessica Dal Pos and Alicia Eva, and North Melbourne’s Kaitlyn Ashmore fill out the starting five, with Nat Exon, Jaimee Lambert and Deni Varnhagen able to rotate through there, as would O’Dea and Jakobsson who push up the ground. With Emma King in the ruck, the early 90s would have a strong chance to win the hitouts, although the opposition midfield would be hard to combat.

Up forward, it is littered with stars from start to finish, in what is an unbelievably powerful front six. Katie Brennan and Darcy Vescio as a one-two combo would bring the crowds alone, but throw in goal machines, Jess Wuetschner and Brooke Lochland, as well as great playmakers, Christina Bernardi and Jasmine Garner who provide both defensive and offensive pressure respectively, and add a different element to the mix. Add in the likes of Sarah D’Arcy, Nat Exon, Kate McCarthy and Sarah Perkins, and the forward rotation would be the envy of any side.

Even those who missed out could consider themselves incredibly unlucky, with Rhiannon MetcalfeStevie-Lee ThompsonAmelia MullaneMeghan McDonald, Aimee Schmidt, Jacinda Barclay, Lauren Pearce, Catherine Phillips, Kate Gillespie-Jones, Brittany Gibson and Hayley Wildes among some seriously talented depth for the five years.

VS

Late 90s – 1995-1999:

B: Nicola Barr – Libby Birch – Chloe Molloy
HB: Brianna Davey – Tahlia Randall – Emma Swanson
C: Emily Bates – Ebony Marinoff – Ally Anderson
HF: Ashley Sharp – Sabrina Frederick-Traub – Monique Conti
F: Aliesha Newman – Tayla Harris – Rebecca Beeson
R: Erin McKinnon – Ellie Blackburn – Lily Mithen
INT: Deanna Berry – Brittany Bonnici – Jenna Bruton – Sarah Hosking – Breann Moody – Jamie Stanton

The late 90s team has a deep midfield that would worry any opposition midfield with its uncompromising attack on the ball and ball carrier. Around the ground the side has good options in attack and defence, and while they might not be as experienced as their early 90s counterparts, they show the future of the game over the next five to 15 years. In defence, Tahlia Randall and Libby Birch are the two key backs, with Chloe Molloy capable of playing tall or small. Nicola Barr, Brianna Davey and Emma Swanson provide the fierce attack out of the back half, with the ability to roam through the midfield too.

In the middle, talented young ruck Erin McKinnon leads a massively inside midfield brigade, with Ellie Blackburn, Lily Mithen and Ebony Marinoff likely to lay a record amount of tackles in a game between them. Brisbane pair, Emily Bates and Ally Anderson will provide support on the wings, while Sarah Hosking, Brittany Bonnici, Jenna Bruton and Jamie Stanton are able to also rotate off the bench into the team. Breann Moody would be McKinnon’s back-up ruck, and also allows Randall to purely focus on her defensive match-ups.

Up front, Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Tayla Harris join forces inside 50 as the key targets. Around their, feet speed demons, Ashley Sharp, Monique Conti and Aliesha Newman will always have defenders worried, while Rebecca Beeson is consistent as they come. Deanna Berry will add to the pace inside 50 and will add some extra running off the bench.

Among those unlucky, injured talents Jess Hosking and Isabel Huntington would make the team with some luck in the future, while Jasmine GriersonBonnie ToogoodEden ZankerEloise JonesJordan ZanchettaHayley Miller, Stephanie Cain and Maddison Gay are among those in contention for a spot in the 24-player team.