THE South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s had some upsets, thrashings and thrillers in Round 6, and as per usual, we take a look at how the SANFL Women’s Academy performed across the weekend.
All notes are the opinion of the individual writer.
The AFLW Academy member had another solid game without anything outstanding, but was fantastically defensively all match. She competed strongly, did the team things well, and is always a neat user the majority of the time. Though she can be forced into rushing at times due to the congestion, Kustermann continues to put out the same effort each term, and sh always shows a clean pair of hands, and is able to continue to accumulate the ball around the field. She finished with 15 disposals, eight tackles, four clearances and two inside 50s in the loss to Glenelg.
Spent some time on the wing and then continued to go in hard as you would expect when around the ground. She had a few touches through congestion, but was good in one instance to kick through traffic to the forward half of the ground in the opening term. She almost had a great interception in the second term but could not quite pull down the mark, though her tackling and implied pressure throughout the match was a standout aspect of her game. Scutchings managed the six touches, three tackles and two inside 50s.
#34 Bethany Sigley
Spending another game through the ruck against fellow State Academy member Scholz, Sigley battled hard throughout despite giving up valuable centimetres. Her around the ground efforts, and ground-level work is certainly impressive, and she laid a number of good tackles. Not quite as impactful as her game the round before, and she finished with four disposals, four tackles and four hitouts.
#41 Lucy Boyd
Had some eye-catching plays, with the 06-born Boyd having chances around goal, and then after a quiet first half, really worked into the game in the second. She tried to soccer it off the deck in the third term, then had a snap that just missed, and it took until the 14th minute of the premiership quarter to kick one off the deck successfully for her goal to cut the deficit back to seven points. Boyd remained clean, and is athletic around the ground, able to get it at ground level and in the air, had a good second half after a slower start. Boyd managed 12 disposals, two tackles, two inside 50s and one goal.
Probably the incredibly talented teenager’s quietest game of the year thus far. She had a couple of nice trademark runs, or attempted runs, but was often forced to dispose of it under pressures. She showed good strength midway in the third term to stand up in a tackle which was nice. Overall, Patterson just had the five disposals and two tackles.
#8 Piper Window
The midfielder-forward spent more of the latter but still rotated through and had impact. She was busy throughout the four quarters, and as usual, did not take a backwards step. She can often throw the ball on the boot, but with time and space is effective even if not technically perfect. She cracks in like few others, and can hit the scoreboard, running hard inside 50 to get on the end of one late in the match for some reward for effort. Overall another impressive performance. Window amassed 13 disposals, nine tackles, four clearances, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s.
#11 Sarah Goodwin
Looked good early but faded out of it more in the second half, Goodwin still showed her typical clean hands and clash, as well as dash through the middle. One particular dash in the opening term saw her burst through multiple opponents and was so clean and composed going forward, using the ball well to the wing. She laid a great tackle in the second term, then won a free, sidestepped an opponent and kicked inboard. She provided some defensive highlights to-boot with a clean spoil in the middle of the ground midway through the second quarter, and almost had a massive run in the third term but forgot to take a bounce and was pinged for travelling too far. Goodwin picked up 17 disposals, three marks – two contested, three tackles and three rebound 50s, which when considering it was not one of her more dominant four-quarter games, shows just how good she has become.
#28 Matilda Scholz
The 2006-born ruck had the better of the opposition including State Academy teammate Sigley. She started well against Kate Walsh, and whilst she did not have it all her own way, she still provided a target around the ground. What I have found this year is Scholz is a confidence player when it comes to marking, and she dropped a couple early, and it seemed to be a trend through the game. Her second efforts remained, and she is very good at the stoppages. If she can continually clunk marks, then she will be a real threat all over the field. Scholz picked up six disposals, 28 disposals and the one mark.
#43 Ella Boag
Similar to the other Glenelg talents, she was not as busy as past weeks, but still played her role on the wing and provided some run and carry on her way to seven disposals and three inside 50s. Boag had a couple of nice moves through the middle in the opening term, and did end up setting it to captain Ellie Kellock for a goal as an eye-catching play in the forward half.
#4 Sachi Syme
Syme started uncharacteristically slowly, but really came alive in the second half of he match. She had a couple of good moments in the first term where she accumulated a few touches and even had a nice smother, but really got going after half-time. Her efficiency by hand and foot increased, as did her ground coverage and ability to get into the right spots. She was finding the ball both in defence and through midfield, and ended up putting in a pretty solid all-round display thanks to the highly productive second half. Syme had 17 disposals, five marks, three tackles, two clearances, four inside 50s and two rebound 50s.
#41 Lana Schwerdt
Rarely does much wrong and just a really good all-round player. She is clean with ball-in-hand, tough as nails and can get get forward for goal-scoring opportunities. She is deceptively strong in standing up in tackles such as one laid by the incredibly strong Ewings, and she is able to open up opportunities for her teammates. Similarly, she is one to get-and-go where she can and cover the ground well between half-back and half-forward. One area of improvement is not getting so close to the player on the mark, with two of her kicks smothered – from marks too, not in general play – which is easily fixed. Schwerdt notched up 23 disposals, five marks, seven tackles and five clearances.
#22 Amelie Borg
Producing her best performance of the year, Borg was far more aggressive and impactful in her game style, and whilst she has been solid defensively all year, her offensive traits went to another level in this match. She took a number of strong intercept marks – both loose and one-on-one, and she was able to hold a high line as well, pushing up to the wing. Possessing a long kick she can use when required, Borg’s best work was just getting into the right spots to intercept and then move the ball on, helping the Roosters rebound from defence. Borg finished with 15 disposals, five marks – one contested – two clearances, two inside 50s and four rebound 50s.
#30 Elaine Grigg
The speedster kicked a goal and set up another one in a lively performance. Her breakaway speed and tackling pressure is superb, and whilst she is still raw on the execution at times, Grigg worries opponents with her closing down speed. She is able to pack a punch too, matching it with far stronger opponents, and she always looked dangerous with her lateral movement. Grigg kicked a goal one minute into the second term getting on the end of an Ewings kick, then set up another couple of scoring chances to Ewings and then Jessica Edwards (who goaled). Capping off her performance, Grigg had a great rundown tackle and really exemplified her effort. Grigg recorded nine disposals, seven tackles, two inside 50s and a goal.
#31 Hannah Ewings
Ewings started on-ball and started to quickly rack it up, having a huge impact on proceedings in the first term. After having a number of touches up the ground, she went forward, took a strong one-on-one mark and converted the set shot from 25m out. She kicked a second goal with a great flick of the hips to turn, spin and shake off a would-be Syme tackle to slot her second. After quarter time, Ewings spent far more time forward, particularly from the second half of the second term, where she slotted a goal late in the first half breaking away from a defender to mark and goal 35m out. Her fourth major came with a minute left in the match where she kicked it with a piecing kick after a mark on the lead, resulting in a big bag of four goals, and nine touches in the last three quarters after six in the first, due to her increased forward load. Ewings still managed the four marks – one contested – three tackles, two clearances and two inside 50s to go with her 15 touches.
#40 Tahlia Walker
Started the game very lively with a mark off a clever lead on a set shot 30m out to clunk the grab and then kicked the set shot. Late in the term she took another great mark and then kicked it well, with a second shot that just fell short from 45m. She kept working hard up the ground and when inside 50 applied pressure, but her first quarter was what really stood out. Walker managed the 12 disposals, four marks, two inside 50s and a goal.
An ultra-impressive gam from the 06-born Riggs who though a raw tall, is building on her performances each week. Her statline might not jump off the page, but one just needs to watch her impact on a game to see she far outweighs any set of numbers. She is a potential human highlight-reel with her huge jump that allowed her to pull down a number of great marks, including a Leo Barry-esque in the defensive half of the ground with the seconds ticking down in the nail-biting clash. She could have had another couple of marks, but her work rate and determination to remain involved is very good.
#21 Georgia McKee
The other Central Under 16s talent had her moments, and though she was not as dominant or match-winning as other matches, was still very impressive. She has always been a player that you notice just about every touch, and that was the case again with her ridiculously clean hands and fantastic kicking ability on either side of her body. McKee had the potential to have a far bigger game though, spraying a kick from a set shot that someone of her calibre would probably nail 90 per cent of the time, then almost had the play of the day in the third term. She burst away from the wing, weaved through multiple opponents, got inside 50 but the pesky bounce got her good and she had to quickly think on her feet which she did with the checkside from 40m which very nearly went in, but just missed. Early in the fourth term she got her goal with a perfect set shot, to finish with 12 disposals, six marks – one contested, two tackles and 1.2.
#38 Dakota Williams
Not a huge game but her intent around the contests were there, and when she did have it she generally used it well enough. Williams’ clean hands and ability to work her way through stoppages is what stands out in her game with a nice burst of a few steps, but she did not have too much freedom in this game. She was still able to put the ball forward to advantage on a number of occasions though, and finished with eight disposals, two marks – one contested – three tackles and three inside 50s.
#37 Brooke Boileau
Boileau had a very lively start to the game with a quick handball in the middle through the first minute, won a free kick to go inside 50, then picked up another touch inside 50 to be one of the busiest in the opening plays. She kicked a goal later in that term from a handball and off a step very cleanly. Though not maintaining that high rate of ball-winning throughout the match, Boileau still took a good mark one-on-one on the wing five minutes into the third term and had a few touches on the win later that quarter. In total, Boileau had the 11 touches, four tackles, two rebound 50s and a goal.
#38 Shae Archbold
The competition’s leading goalkicker just extended her lead on the rest of the SANFL Women’s with another three-goal performance. Two of them came in the first term, with a great mark at the top of the goalsquare in the third minute and making no mistake with the set shot, then nailed another set shot from 45m out later in the quarter. Archbold continued to have a few more chances, such as one in the goalsquare but was dragged down before she could kick, then one from 35m but chose to play on and missed to the left. The fourth term saw Archbold pull down a good mark 40m out but it fell short in the goalsquare, then she kicked one of the most ridiculous goals from the boundary, snapping it off her trusty left and the bounce went over the defenders in the square. Archbold came away with 10 touches, four marks – three contested – and 3.1 from the match.
#49 Jemma Ellis
Showing off her great follow-up work, Ellis was again clean in the ruck with her taps and acting as a “fourth midfielder” where possible, also offering herself as a target around the ground. She showed some handy athleticism, and she generally used it pretty well. Though not as massive of a game as others this season, Ellis still came away with a very solid nine touches, 17 hitouts, two clearances and two inside 50s.
#20 Cher Waters
Waters had a pretty productive game through the midfield, accumulating her fair share of touches, and she is known for her pressure and strength in close. She stands up in tackles, and gives as good as she gets with her tackling pressure, also often looking to create something out of congestion going forward. Waters runs hard defensively to win some touches in the defensive half, and though not as eye-catching with her work given it is often in close. Waters still had a good game with 15 disposals, two marks, seven tackles and two inside 50s in the loss.
#34 (then #2) Shineah Goody
Goody’s game started with a blood rule in the opening minute where she had to come off, and switched her jumper from 34 to two, and proceeded to have a quiet first term. She got far more involved in the second quarter, where she not only began accumulating, but also directly setting up a couple of goals. She managed to hit both Amie Blanden and McKenzie Dowrick with her perfectly weighted kicks. She mostly spent time in defence with the Panthers attacking later, but Goody was a key reason why the Eagles got back into the game in the second second term, showing how she can creatively slice apart the opposition defences. Goody managed the 10 disposals, six marks – one contested, two tackles and four rebound 50s.
RM CENTRAL SANFLW ACADEMY PLAYER OF THE YEAR ROUND 6 VOTES:
8 – Hannah Ewings (North Adelaide)
7 – Shae Archbold (South Adelaide)
7 – Lana Schwerdt (Norwood)
7 – Amelie Borg (North Adelaide)
6 – Keeley Kustermann (West Adelaide)
6 – Piper Window (Glenelg)
6 – Charlotte Riggs (Central District)
5 – Sachi Syme (Norwood)
5 – Sarah Goodwin (Glenelg)
3 – Elaine Grigg (North Adelaide)
In each edition of Academy Watch, 60 votes are distributed amongst the Academy talents rather than the traditional 5-4-3-2-1 per-game system used with the NAB League Girls. This way, players who go above and beyond are awarded additional votes, with no cap on a minimum amount from teams.