SANFLW Round 2 wrap: Eagles soar, Double Blues upset reigning premiers
WINS to the bottom two sides from last year against the reigning premiers emphasised just how even the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s is in 2022. In a couple of shock results, the youth of Woodville-West Torrens and Sturt upset West Adelaide and Glenelg respectively. In the other two matches, Norwood and North Adelaide got on the board in 2022 with wins over Central District and South Adelaide.
WEST ADELAIDE 1.1 | 3.2 | 3.3 | 4.3 (27)
WWT EAGLES 4.1 | 6.2 | 7.5 | 9.6 (60)
West: A. Ballard, M. Elsegood, P. Francis, L. McCarthy
Eagles: J. Hickey 3, M. Dowrick 2, J. Sedunary 2, A. Blanden, B. Hyde
West: A. Ballard, J. Macolino, Z. Venning, B. Devlyn, K. Kustermann, L. Boyd
Eagles: S. Goody, C. Waters, E. Little, N. Holmes, J. Hickey, C. Dolan
Woodvillle-West Torrens bounced back from a Round 1 loss to Sturt to upset 2021 grand finalists West Adelaide by 33 points at Hisense Stadium. In what was an even team effort from the Eagles, young guns Shineah Goody and Cher Waters were superb through midfield, whilst the AFLW-experienced talents in Jordann Hickey, McKenzie Dowrick and Jessica Sedunary combined for seven of the team’s nine goals in the 9.6 (60) to 4.3 (27) result.
The Eagles burst out of the blocks early with Sedunary scoring off the back of a Goody pass inboard within 30 seconds of the opening bounce. She had her second just five minutes later, and it looked like she would be the one to contain inside 50. Meanwhile for West Adelaide, Abbie Ballard was having quite the opening term since returning from Crows duties, and it was fitting that she would be the one to spark her side with a clever snap off the deck midway through the quarter. Her effort would soon be negated by goals to Hickey and Amie Blanden, with Hickey missing a snap in the final 30 seconds to almost make it five straight goals. Nonetheless the Eagles headed to the quarter time break with a three-goal lead.
That advantage remained at half-time despite the best efforts of Zoe Venning and Jess Macolino who shared the load with Ballard through the midfield for West Adelaide. After a near miss from Eagles debutant Grace Martin, it was Louella McCarthy who created something out of nothing from a forward stoppage. That triggered a series of goals over the next seven minutes, as the teams traded blows. Dowrick kicked her first for the Eagles, and a rare Goody turnover inside defensive 50 gifted Melanie Elsegood her first. Then Brianna Hyde scored her first SANFLW goal on the back of hard running.
The youth of the Eagles continued to combine with Charlotte Dolan and Chloe Whitington-Charity were racking up the pill, whilst Charlie Scutchings had locked down on Goody. That seemed to work as the Eagles star – who had managed 18 touches in 37 minutes to start the game, only managed another two over the course of the next 20 minutes. Dowrick looked likely to win the game off her own boot with a great snap around her body, then just missed a second. Both Martin and Waters had chances that went begging, and the Eagles had extended their lead out to 26 points at the final break.
Paris Francis gave West Adelaide a glimmer of hope early in the fourth to cut the deficit back to 20 points, but the likes of Dolan and Renee Forth in defence were holding up well. Ballard and Macolino continued to win plenty in the midfield, but it was the match-winning play by Zahn Anthony in defence to beat McCarthy in a one-on-one and drive it to the wing that really stood out. The Eagles were switched on, and when Hickey slotted her second it was game over. Though they could not help Martin get her goal – missing a second chance on goal – Hickey’s strong contested mark and third goal in the 17th minute put icing on the most delicious cake for the Eagles.
After a fast start before being tagged, Goody still amassed 26 disposals, seven marks – two contested – two tackles and five rebound 50s, working well with Waters (18 disposals, two marks, three tackles and five inside 50s). Ella Little (20 disposals, six tackles, three clearances, two inside 50s and three rebound 50s) was productive, with Natasha Holmes, Dolan and captain Annie Falkenberg always cracking in. Up forward, the trio of AFLW experienced talents proved too much for the West Adelaide defence.
For the Bloods, Macolino had more touches than anyone else with 23, as well as seven clearances, seven inside 50s and five tackles. Venning (20 disposals, three marks, eight clearances, four inside 50s and four tackles) was also outstanding alongside Ballard (21 disposals, nine tackles, four clearances, five inside 50s and a goal). Beatrice Devlyn (18 disposals, six rebound 50s) and Keeley Kustermann (15 disposals, seven tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s) tried hard on the losing side.
Woodville-West Torrens travel to Coopers Stadium on Friday night to take on Norwood, whilst West Adelaide hosts Central District at Hisense Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
CENTRAL DISTRICT 0.0 | 0.0 | 4.1 | 5.2 (32)
NORWOOD 2.2 | 4.6 | 5.6 | 7.9 (51)
Central District: L. Huynh, J. Schulz, K. Searle, S. Smith, D. Sonneman
Norwood: J. Halfpenny 2, A. Lishmund, L. Schwerdt, S. Simmonds, E. Sporn, R. Zerella
Central District: S. Smith, G. McKee, L. Smith, M. Lane, L. Huynh, C. Wendland
Norwood: J. Halfpenny, M. Johnston, A. Ferrall, S. Armitstead, S. Branford, S. Syme
A best on ground performance from teenager Jade Halfpenny has helped Norwood get over the line against Central District by 19 points. In a tale of two halves, the Redlegs held the Central attack scoreless in the first half, and had more than 20 inside 50s to just two in that time. Starved of opportunities beforehand, the Bulldogs roared to life in the third term, slotting four goals to one to race back into contention. Though they did their best to try and cause an almighty comeback, it was a case of too little, too late for Centrals, as the Redlegs kicked the first two goals of the final term to seal the deal and win, 7.9 (52) to 5.2 (32).
Norwood dominated the first half as the Redlegs raced to a 30-point lead at half-time without the Bulldogs barely given a yelp. Despite the best efforts of captain Shelby Smith, Lauren Smith and Laitiah Huynh, the home side could only manage the two inside 50s in the first 40 minutes. The Norwood defence, lead by captain Alison Ferrall and experienced campaigner Morgan Johnston suffocated the life out of the young Dogs, playing as high backs and driving the ball back into the Redlegs’ forward half.
Though Halfpenny missed a couple of early chances, it was Erika Sporn first on the board with a major from a set shot, and then the Zerella sisters combined with Jiarna Zerella hitting up Rosette Zerella and the latter subsequently nailing the set shot from 20m out in the last couple of minutes of the first term. The second term did not go any better for Centrals, with Alana Lishmund getting on the board with a lovely set shot from 40m out, and then the visitors just dominating forward possession. Though they had the lions share of inside 50s, the Redlegs would have been frustrated with conversion, kicking 1.4 for the term heading into the final minute of the term. Luckily, young talent Lana Schwerdt rewarded the travelling side for the dominance with a late goal snapping around her body in the final 30 seconds to make it an even 30-point difference.
The main positive out of the first half was Madison Lane returning to the field after hurting her ankle in the opening term. She played out the game and did well, though second-gamer Dakota Williams did not return after suffering leg tightness. Georgia Madigan had played a reliable role out of the defensive 50, with Lauren Smith also continually getting to the right spots. Norwood had a chance to ice the game early in the third, but Rosette Zerella chose to try and hit up Lishmund in the pocket, who dropped a sitter and the Bulldogs were able to clear. After six and half minutes into the second half – and 46 and half minutes into the match – a rushed behind finally got the Bulldogs on the board.
That seemed to spark the home team into action, as they controlled play. Captain Smith kicked her side’s first major just in time to release the pressure valve, with Demi Sonneman making the most of a rare opportunity to mark inside 50. Then Karissa Searle joined the party with a great running goal, and had it not been for a bit of Halfpenny magic midway through the term – where the tall forward-midfielder snapped out of the ruck in the goalsquare – then the sides almost would have been even at the final break. It was fair to say Central pushed right to the final seconds of the term however, with Huynh getting her boot to the ball in the goalsquare just before the final siren and the margin stood at 11 points.
The game was at a junction now, with Norwood’s unassailable lead pegged back to less than two kicks, and the Dogs with all the momentum. When young gun Georgia McKee – who had starred in the third term – hit up Brianna Burt 35m out just three minutes into the term, it looked like game on. When Burt received a 25m penalty, she moved to just outside the goalsquare. Unfortunately her set shot did not connect right and it cannoned into the post, and the deficit went back to 10 points instead of five. Norwood took this is as a great escape with Ferrall willing her side on to get back on top, and Norwood controlled possession.
For the next 10 minutes, Norwood just maintained that advantage like the Redlegs did in the first half, and it was fitting that Halfpenny was the one to seal the game with a lovely set shot from 40m out. Sophie Armitstead had a chance to ice the game well and truly with a set shot not long after but uncharacteristically sprayed it, but then Steph Simmonds did just that with a flying shot. For all of Central’s hard work in the third and early fourth, Norwood was home. Though Jessica Schulz pounced on a loose ball in the final seconds, it was just a mere consolation goal, as Central was left to rue its slow start.
Halfpenny was outstanding in the Redlegs win, booting two goals from 26 touches, nine marks – four contested – four clearances and seven inside 50s. She was joined by the experience of Armitstead (18 disposals, two marks, five tackles, four clearances and five inside 50s), Ferrall (17 disposals, two marks, four tackles, two inside 50s and two rebounds) and Johnston (14 disposals, four marks – one contested – and three tackles) in impacting across four quarters. The Redlegs youth of Sachi Syme, Schwerdt and Sarah Branford also put out good efforts throughout the match.
For the Bulldogs, McKee had a ridiculous second half – including 11 touches in the final term – to finish with 27 disposals, seven marks – one contested – three clearances, eight inside 50s and two rebounds. Despite that, it was hard to look past captain Smith’s outstanding four quarters, racking up a match-high 11 clearances – out of her side’s 25 – as well as 24 disposals, four marks, six tackles and a goal. Lauren Smith (19 disposals, four marks – one contested – three tackles and four rebound 50s), Lane (18 disposals, eight rebound 50s) and Huynh (16 disposals, four tackles and a goal) also impressed, often behind the ball. Caitlin Wendland and Taryn Wills were also among the Dogs’ best in the loss.
Next week Central District travels to Hisense Stadium to take on West Adelaide, while Norwood hosts Woodville-West Torrens on Friday night at Coopers Stadium.
SOUTH ADELAIDE 1.4 | 3.4 | 3.5 | 5.5 (35)
NORTH ADELAIDE 1.0 | 3.2 | 5.6 | 6.7 (43)
South: S. Archbold 2, G. Schirmer, B. Boileau, J. Waterhouse
North: D. Hansen 2, J. Tabb, J. Norup, J. De Melo,
South: J. Smith. J. Waterhouse, T. Buethke, G. Schirmer, S. Hanning, S. Archbold
North: H. Ewings, E. Greet, J. De Melo, J. Tabb, J. Edwards, D. Hansen
A stunning two-minute purple patch from North Adelaide recruit Doreena Hansen helped reward the Roosters on the scoreboard as the 2020 SANFL Women’s premiers got on the board in 2022 with an eight-point win over a gallant South Adelaide. Krissie Steen‘s side is yet to enter a match full-strength, having lost several players to the COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols for the second consecutive week, but the Roosters just found a way to get the job done, coming back from narrow deficits at quarter time and half-time to take control in the second half and post the 6.7 (43) to 5.5 (35) win.
Bringing the momentum that they had in the second half during their win over Central District last week, the Panthers kicked their first major just a minute into the game when young gun Shae Archbold was awarded a free kick. The Under 16s talent and her deadly left foot had the first on the board, and it it spurred on the Panthers who really dominated the play, having multiple shots. It took a rare South turnover in the defensive 50 to spark the Roosters with Jade De Melo pouncing and giving it off by hand to Jaimi Tabb by hand to cut the quarter time deficit to four points.
Roosters young gun Hannah Ewings started the game strong and continued throughout the four quarters, combining well with De Melo through the midfield and half-forward lines. After Archbold kicked her second early in the term, North responded at the midway point, with De Melo getting it to Jaime Norup on teh run. That was followed up by De Melo getting on the receiving end of a laser Ewings pass, and North hit the front with six minutes remaining in the half. Teenager Gypsy Schirmer won a free kick in the final 30 seconds and a 25m penalty for encroaching, and put her side in front just before the siren. For all of North’s dominance in the second term, the Panthers were up by two points at the main break.
South threw everything it had at North early in the third term, with Roosters defender and co-captain Kristi Harvey doing brilliantly to win a one-against-two battle, and then the North defence rushed through a behind. Despite Katelyn Pope having a quiet first half – just two touches – after a dominant game last week – winger Erica Greet returned in a blaze of glory and was taking plenty of grass on the outside – though it would be a new recruit in her second game who would effectively win her side the game. In the pace of two minutes, Hansen would kick 2.1, including a clever snap in the goalsquare and then on the end of an Ewings pass to push the margin out to a game-high 10 points.
Though still within the Panthers’ grasp, the Roosters continued to push and should have been further in front than their 13 points at the final break. Hansen missed a set shot, Letisha Ackland‘s snap did not bend enough, and despite some candy from Ewings to set up De Melo, the silky ex-AFLW talent could not quite connect in the goalsquare. Then came a Tabb miss late in the term, with the siren sounding and the Roosters leading 36-23.
After her final term heroics last week, Ewings found South’s Courtney Barry locking onto her from the first centre bounce. Immediately Ewings gave away a high free kick, and looked determined to destroy something or someone in the final term. South kept at it though, with Brooke Boileau making up for a missed mark by receiving the handball back from Archbold a moment later and kicking truly on the run. By the time Jess Waterhouse kicked her first of the match, South was just one point down with nine minutes remaining. Monika Ney and Katelyn Pope both had chances, but the former’s behind at least put the Roosters up by two.
Needing to go direct down the line in the final minute and play attacking football, the young South defence just panicked a little under the immense pressure of the Roosters experience, and Ewings was able to lay some crucial tackles and bumps, leading to Norup kicking the winning goal in the final 30 seconds and sealing the eight-point win.
Ewings was again fantastic throughout the match, notching up 25 disposals, three marks, four tackles, four clearances, seven inside 50s and two rebound 50s. Greet amassed 18 disposals and six inside 50s in a strong performance on the wing, whilst Pope picked up 11 touches in the second half to come into the game more late. De Melo (17 disposals, four marks – one contested – three tackles, four inside 50s and a goal) and Jessica Edwards (17 disposals, four marks and four inside 50s) were both strong throughout. Tabb and Harvey played really consistent games through the midfield and defence respectively for the Roosters.
In her 50th game for South Adelaide, Jaslynne Smith was another reliable driver from defence, picking up a game-high 27 disposals, as well as four marks and five inside 50s. Tahlita Buethke produced more of a four-quarter spread this week with 25 touches, four marks – one contested – four inside 50s and three rebound 50s), while Waterhouse (21 disposals, four tackles, five clearances, eight inside 50s and a goal) did her best work at half-forward and roaming up the ground. Schirmer (18 disposals, four marks, four tackles, three clearances, five inside 50s and a goal) was also strong, while Nari Wright and Shannon Hanning impressed in defence, and Archbold was ever-dangerous in attack, predominantly in that first half.
In Round 3, North Adelaide travels to Thebarton Oval to take on Sturt on Saturday night, whilst South Adelaide hosts Glenelg at Flinders University Stadium on Sunday night.
STURT 1.2 | 2.2 | 5.3 | 5.3 (33)
GLENELG 1.0 | 2.1 | 2.2 | 3.5 (23)
Sturt: A. Healy 2, A. Rigter 2, G. Swan
Glenelg: L. Armitage 2, C. Swanson
Sturt: I. Kuiper, K. Mueller, G. Bevan, A. Ballard, E. Dawes, A. Healy
Glenelg: S. Goodwin, E. Kellock, T. Kohn, J. Bates, M. Scholz, L. Armitage
In a battle between two Round 1 victors, Sturt has upset reigning premier Glenelg to the tune of 10 points at Thebarton Oval on Saturday evening. The win puts the Double Blues top of the ladder as the lone remaining undefeated team, with the Bays now the best-ranked of six sides sitting at 1-1.
Sturt brought the heat all game and restricted Glenelg’s usual running game, with both sides up around 70 in the tackle count and going blow-for-blow around the contest. A three-goal to nil third term proved the difference, as the Blues broke to a 19-point lead at the last break and held firm to see out the 5.3 (33) to 3.5 (23) victory.
Earlier, it took seven minutes for either side to score amid the tense and tight opening stages, with Sturt going right to the line on multiple occasions without a major to show for it. Alysha Healy broke through at the third time of asking, sneaking out the back with her patented pace. The Blues were away, but only two points ahead at the first break.
The Bays continued to play from behind in term two, being harassed in possession and given few opportunities to break forward cleanly. Abbey Rigter put her Blues two goals to the good, but Glenelg stayed in the hunt via Lucy Armitage’s second major for the day, trailing by the slimmest of margins at the main break. With so much time left in the match, the feeling was the Bays would eventually be able to break down a brave Sturt.
That idea soon went out the window as Sturt went bang with consecutive majors to start term three. Healy had her second goal, and Rigter added another in the final minute of the quarter to set up a definitive lead at the final break. Even with Caitlyn Swanson giving the Tigers a sniff and pestering the goal, Sturt was able to lock the game down and hang on to a memorable win.
Isobel Kuiper was terrific for the Double Blues, leading the disposal count with 20 which included 10 clearances and five inside 50s. On the defensive end, she laid 11 tackles. The likes of Kiera Mueller, Elsie Dawes and Alisha Gepp were also effective around the ball, while two-goal hauls from Rigter and Healy proved vital. Down back, youngsters Zoe Prowse and Alex Ballard provided cool heads in their intercept and rebound duties.
The Bays were served well by Ellie Kellock and Tessa Kohn in midfield, as 2006-born ruck Matilda Scholz got the better of the ruck duel (33 hitouts). The transitional run of Sarah Goodwin made the Bays look dangerous in a largely scrappy affair, while Adelaide-listed young gun Brooke Tonon had her moments of class playing at both ends of the ground. Armitage’s two goals also kept Glenelg in with a fighting chance.
Sturt faces another tough test next time out when it hosts North Adelaide in a second outing at Thebarton Oval, while Glenelg travels to face South Adelaide at Flinders University Stadium on Sunday as both sides look to bounce back from Round 2 losses.