SANFLW Round 4 preview: Super Saturday planned

AFTER a nail-biting round of action last weekend in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s, Round 4 is set to provide just as many highlights as it kicks off tomorrow. In a super Saturday, all four games take place tomorrow, with four points separating second from eighth.

  • Team
  • Glenelg
  • Woodville-West Torrens

Reigning premiers Glenelg comes into the clash with Woodville-West Torrens looking to increase its record to 3-1 having accounted for South Adelaide in a thriller last round. The Bays celebrated for captain Ellie Kellock‘s 50th game, but now she will be out, named one of three outs for the match against the Eagles. Woodville-West Torrens are coming off a spirited loss to Norwood, and would level Glenelg to 2-2 after four rounds with an upset win here.

At the selection table, the Bays have lost Kellock, whilst Poppy Scholz and Shay’Lee Dayman are also out of the side. Coming in for a straight swap for Kellock is hard inside midfielder Tessa Kohn, with debutant Ella Boag named up forward, and Crows-listed Dayna Cox also in for the Bays. The Eagles have lost the athletic Jasmine Simmons to Crows duties herself, whilst Klaudia O’Neill is in line for her debut for the Eagles. Also returning to the side is youngster Chloe Whitington-Charity, and Audrey Holt on an extended bench.

The Eagles forward line of Jordann Hickey, McKenzie Dowrick and Jessica Sedunary packs plenty of punch, and the defensive reliability of Renee Forth, Leah Kaslar, Zahn Anthony and captain Annie Falkenberg show a balance across the field. From a midfield matchup, fans could be treated to Shineah Goody and Sarah Goodwin, whist the Bays have a nice balance of youth and experience up forward. Piper Window, Violet Patterson, Matilda Scholz are alongside the likes of Caitlyn Swanson and Chelsea Packer, which will provide the Bays with much of their own firepower.

Glenelg deserves to be favourites in this one, but the Eagles would love to take a huge scalp and see how they match up to the reigning premiers.

  • Team
  • West Adelaide
  • Sturt

West Adelaide will be hungry to bounce back from back-to-back losses to Woodville West Torrens and Central District by handing the undefeated Sturt its first loss of the 2022 season. The Bloods have wheeled out the changes at League level, with four confirmed out, and seven added to an extended interchange. The Double Blues have lost a quartet of young talent and also gone for an extended interchange, as Sturt eyes off winning an unprecedented three consecutive games – and already matching their season-high win count in the process.

The Double Blues will be without State Academy members Tahlia Walker (concussion) and India Rasheed (rested) who both copped unlucky knocks in the Round 3 win against North Adelaide. They are joined on the outs by midfield ball-winner Alisha Gepp and Crows-listed utility Zoe Prowse. It means Sturt will look to its depth to return, with former basketballer Alex Pearce back in the League side, and the likes of Lucy Griffith and Ally Ladas among the potential ins. West Adelaide has also made the four changes, losing Abbie Ballard to the Crows, and Kaylee Biddell to a knee injury, whilst Tiana Fernandez and Samantha Ramm have both been omitted. Coming into the team, the Bloods gain some experience back with Nicole Hooper and Louella McCarthy among some important inclusions.

State Academy member Keeley Kustermann racked up a career-high 31 touches in the win over North Adelaide, and will be looking to have another big game alongside the likes of Zoe Venning and Lucy Boyd as other young ones to watch. The defence has held up strongly despite the defeats, with Beatrice Devlyn, Madelyn Zacher and Madi Russell having strong seasons. Defensive midfielder Charlie Scutchings will likely have clearance jet Isobel Kuiper for company this week, but it will take more than just one player down to stop the Double Blues. The half-back line of Kiera Mueller, Abbie Ballard and Maya Rigter is the best in the competition, with Georgia Bevan and ruck Jasmyn Hewett also in great form.

Sturt has lost some quality and on the road against West Adelaide which gives the Bloods a massive chance in this one, it will just be a case of being able to penetrate the Double Blues’ defence.

  • Team
  • Central District
  • North Adelaide

Fresh off a vital win on the road against West Adelaide, Central District returns home to take on North Adelaide in a battle of the sides who are 1-2. The Roosters are rather unlucky to be sitting at 1-2 and could easily be 3-0, which is why one can never underestimate the Krissie Steen-coached side. North Adelaide will be thrilled to welcome back co-captain Erin Sundstrom, and defender Jamie Parish, making it the strongest back five the visitors have had all season. Rachael Plummer is the only confirmed out. The Bulldogs on the other hand have not made any confirmed changes, with Willaston’s Jessie Sandford and Angle Vale’s Jessica Walker-Smith in line for their debuts, whilst athletic midfielder Dakota Williams – who missed last round with hamstring tightness – has been named on the bench again.

The Bulldogs will be riding high after that win over West Adelaide, with young gun Georgia McKee putting together an outstanding last quarter of three goals to guide Central District to the victory, whilst captain Shelby Smith was at her reliable best. There were plenty of contributors though, as Caitlin Wendland returned to put in a terrific effort through the midfield alongside Laitiah Huynh, whilst Lauren Smith was strong behind the ball, and Isabelle Starmer impressed through the ruck.

North Adelaide’s back five of Parish, Sundstrom, Kristi Harvey, Amelie Borg and Ella Metcalfe are a ridiculously strong unit, and will make life difficult for the Bulldogs’ forwards. The wings in Julia Clark and Erica Greet also provid plenty of run, with Katelyn Pope and Jade De Melo creative types in the forward half. Cristie Castle is coming off a big return game, whilst Hannah Ewings will look to impact on the scoreboard in Round 4.

Central District is capable of anything, and this will be a great test, but North Adelaide looks more experienced, and more potent across the ground and should be favourites for the game.

  • Team
  • South Adelaide
  • Norwood

Completing Round 4 is South Adelaide hosting Norwood in a crunch game for both clubs. Since their Round 1 victory over Central District, the Panthers have lost back-to-back games to North Adelaide and Glenelg respectively, whilst the Redlegs will be eyeing off their third consecutive win, having accounted for Central District and Woodville-West Torrens since their capitulation against Glenelg. Norwood will be without Rosette Zerella (ankle) and Jennifer Frost (finger), but will welcome the return of youngsters Rosie Boon and Tesharna Maher to the squad to provide some extra run. South Adelaide will be minus the services of Lauren Clifton (leg), with Brooke Boileau among three potential inclusions with Layla Rogers and Caitlin Radbone also named on an extended interchange bench.

South has relied a lot on the firepower of Jess Waterhouse in the first three weeks, with Shae Archbold and Jess Kirk the other two dangers inside 50 for the Redlegs defenders. Speaking of the Norwood defence, the likes of captain Alison Ferrall, Morgan Johnston and Sophie Armitstead – the latter of whom rotates between midfield and defence – have been in superb form. The midfield trio of teenagers in Sachi Syme, Lana Schwerdt and Sarah Branford have also been consistent, whilst who could forget the remarkable form of Jade Halfpenny this season, who would be leading the club’s best and fairest to-date.

Tahlita Buethke and Gypsy Schirmer are a couple of past State Academy members who have been performing strongly for the Panthers, whilst coach Rick Watts would love having Nikki Gore in the side. Jaslynne Smith, Samantha Pratt and Lucy Northcott have been very reliable across the matches, whilst captain Brianna Wedding and Jemma Ellis have formed a good one-two punch in the ruck.

South Adelaide love playing at home and have the capacity to use the Flinders University Stadium to advantage, but Norwood seems to be playing the better footy at the moment, so the Redlegs go in as favourites.

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