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)
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.
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.
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.
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.