SANFLW Round 10 preview: Redlegs’ huge opportunity

AFTER a week’s break over Easter, the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition is back and raring to go for Round 10. Stretched across three days of the long weekend, Woodville-West Torrens and Glenelg have a special Anzac Day fixture, whilst Norwood and West Adelaide face off under lights tonight.

  • Team
  • Norwood
  • West Adelaide

Friday, April 22 @ 8:15pm
Coopers Stadium

Kicking off Round 10 of action sees a battle between two bottom four clubs, and much more on the line for the home side. As the season winds down – just three rounds remain – Norwood plays host to West Adelaide with the former just percentage outside the top four. A win will almost certainly put them in prime position fourth, with the two sides around them (South Adelaide and Central District) taking on the top two sides. For this clash the Redlegs will be without captain Alison Ferrall – who will miss the rest of the season with an arm injury – Grace Mulvahil and Steph Simmonds, choosing to bring in a potential debutant in Modbury’s Coby Morgan. Also into the side are Erika Sporn, Lindsay Bigg and Adrienne Davies as the side hopes to bounce back from a loss to the Eagles in Round 9.

West Adelaide on the other hand have some promising changes for something different, with rising star Lucy Boyd returning to the lineup, along with reigning club best and fairest winner Zoe Venning and fellow midfielder Olivia Smith. Having not won in eight games, the Bloods will be keen to get back on the board and potentially deny Norwood the chance to jump back into the top four, whilst the Redlegs will not want to drop a game to the last placed Bloods. Given both sides are missing some quality midfielders due to the AFLW Under 18 Championships, it will be a great battle between rucks Leah Cutting and Kate Walsh, whilst Venning and Jess Macolino will lock horns with Sophie Armitstead and Jade Halfpenny. Norwood defender Ashlee Gould is playing her 50th game in a milestone effort.

  • Team
  • North Adelaide
  • Central District

Saturday, April 23 @ 3:50pm
Prospect Oval

Top of the table North Adelaide hosts sixth placed Central District in what is really a must-win clash for the Bulldogs. The Roosters have some breathing space at the top of the table, with a win and percentage clear of Sturt and Glenelg, but for the Bulldogs, a loss could be detrimental to their finals chances. By the first bounce, they will know if Norwood has defeated West Adelaide, meaning that on a live ladder the Redlegs will be four points clear. Central District would need other results to go their way in the last fortnight, so getting the job done here would keep the Bulldogs within striking distance. The visitors have also gone unchanged from the big win over the Bloods and have won two of their past three games.

North Adelaide has won its past six games though, and co-captain Kristi Harvey is playing her 50th game to provide some extra motivation. A three-time premiership player with three different clubs, Harvey will look to lead the Roosters to victory minus Jade De Melo who will miss this game. They do regain talented forward Doreena Hansen though. Not a high hitout team, Megan Ryan has a huge job up against one of the in-form rucks in the competition in Isabelle Starmer, whilst the defence of Harvey, Jamie Parish and Ella Metcalfe is strong. Demi Sonneman, Shannon Murphy and Emma Keys have all proven to be multiple goalkickers on their day, whilst Shelby Smith going head-to-head with Jessica Edwards could be huge.

  • Team
  • Sturt
  • South Adelaide

Saturday, April 2 @ 3:50pm
Wigan Oval

Holding onto second spot narrowly, Sturt will be strong favourites at home against an understrength South Adelaide‘s side. The Double Blues have had the luxury of just adding two players to their side, with club best and fairest winner Isobel Kuiper a huge addition to the midfield group, whilst Aajiah Jericho comes in for her first match of the year. South has its own huge inclusion with Czenya Cavouras coming in after sitting the early season out to her pregnancy. The Panthers have lost a huge chunk of their crucial players for the game though, with arguably the three most important players out, in the two competition leading goalkickers Jess Waterhouse and Shae Archbold, as well as influential midfielder Nicole Campbell. Versatile Tahlita Buethke and Lucy Northcott will also miss through injury and work respectively.

The defensive setup of the Double Blues, which features the likes of captain Maya Rigter, Hannah Prenzler, Alex Ballard and Jaimee Wittervan make it hard for any side to score, but especially a side that is missing the league leading goalkickers. It will be up to the likes of Jess Kirk and Kiahni Russell who have shown they can find the big sticks, whilst Cavouras will be a welcome injection of experience with the likes of Gypsy Schirmer and Nari Wright in good form. A fresh face at the club is UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs winger Serena Gulden who will have a big first-up game.

  • Team
  • Woodville-West Torrens
  • Glenelg

Monday, April 25 @ 5:20pm
Maughan Thiem Kia Oval

Completing the round of action is reigning premiers Glenelg hoping to keep touch with top spot against a Woodville-West Torrens side breaking its six-game losing streak last week. The Eagles were terrific in their upset over Norwood, but this clash is a different one altogether, and the Bays will be hungry to win and not allow the Roosters to get too far away at the top of the table heading into the final two weeks. The home side has a real bittersweet taste to the team selection, with crucial experience in McKenzie Dowrick, Leah Kaslar, Jordann Hickey and Annie Falkenberg all coming in, but Abbey Dowrick, Renee Forth and Charlotte Dolan among the outs. Three potential debutants have also been named in Amber Elvin, Ashley Baker and Georgie Blades.

With Jess Searle suspended and Taylah Scapens unavailable the visitors will need to make at least two changes, but it will likely be more, with a trio of experienced players in Laura Chigwidden, Molly Scott and Caitlyn Swanson all coming into the lineup. Reynella’s Morgan Blackwell has also been named on an extended bench team in line for a potential debut. Glenelg is still missing a lot of quality, but the extra exprience will add to that of Jessica Sedunary and the youth of Brianna Hyde and Jemma Whitington-Charity, all of whom were fantastic last week, whilst Klaudia O’Neill slotted three goals. Glenelg knows the ggames it will get out of the likes of captain Ellie Kellock and competition leading disposal winner Emily Bates, whilst Violet Patterson provides that touch of class through the midfield.

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