THE last of the representative action for 2022 took place this week, with a battle between the Apple Isle’s North and South regions. While South ultimately took home the chocolates courtesy of a five goals to nil last term, both sides had some standouts in the match. The teams were missing the players who have already represented the Tasmania Devils, with the showcase an opportunity for others to step into the Devils’ pathway for the coming years.
#3 Sophie Strong
A real metres gained player and pocket rocket, Strong was influential with her run. Though often a receiver from the stoppage, Strong still won more than 50 per cent of her touches in a contested situation as she went to an equal match-high 28. She had a massive 11 inside 50s – more than any other player – and kicked a couple of behinds too. At times she might have sold herself into trouble by doing too much, but she has some exciting traits by being able to sidestep or evade opponents, and put the afterburners on and burst away. Not afraid of taking the game on, she has that end-on-end ball drop, but it still seems to work for her effectively, and she was certainly busy throughout the four quarters.
#8 Natasha Furjanic
An important clearance player, Furjanic was a contested star, racking up 23 disposals – 18 contested – and had seven clearances to boot. She worked hard to help out the defence at times and still has some polish to work on from an execution perspective, but the one trait that stands out for Furjanic is her clean hands. She is a near one-touch player both at speed and when under pressure, and is quick to get moving and get the ball forward, and once she adds that extra touch of composure, then she can add an extra layer of damage to the opposition.
#11 Mia Anderson
Earning best-afield honours, Anderson was productive throughout the game, and bounced back from a quiet second term to finish with an equal game-high 28 disposals. She also had seven clearances and has those football smarts that allow her to get to the right spots around the ground and influence the game. If she had been able to snag one or two of her three shots on goal, then Anderson would have been even better, but she applied good pressure around the stoppage. Along with her defensive pressure, Anderson showed a quick step to get out of trouble, and in a rarity to players of her age, Anderson knew to lift the arms up when being tackled to keep them free and handball to a teammate.
#27 Josie Rose
After spending three quarters in defence, Rose was swung forward at the last change and had 20 minutes to remember. The key utility has strong hands, but also keen game sense, and was able to take the ball off hands and run into goal to put it through the big sticks. She slotted three goals from four scoring shots and had nine of her 19 disposals in that final term, being the real catalyst for South’s victory. Rose just got to the right spot at the right time and while she has the strength to worry opposition defenders, she still had the nous to sidestep opponents. One goal came from sidestepping two players and snapping it off the right, before fending off an opponent and stepping around another to run in and kick a great goal.
#12 Georgia Gillow
Often playing behind the ball, Gillow’s most noticeable trait was her ability to read the ball in flight and position her body well to mark or mop up.. She worked hard back into deep defence, but also pushed up the ground well at times to provide an option. When her side was under siege in the final term, Gillow had some meaningful touches, and had 12 second half disposals from her 21 touches to go with the three marks, six tackles, three inside 50s and five rebound 50s.
#20 Harriet Bingley
The standout player for the North side, Bingley was constantly involved in everything. She cracks in and is able to win the contested ball, but is able to break away from would-be tacklers and shows strong hands both at ground level and aerially. At times she was forced to rush the ball forward or snap around her body, but with time and space she could put it inside 50 to the advantage of a leading target. Her work rate was also impressive, with a couple of repeat runs to win multiple possessions in a chain. Bingley had 17 disposals, five inside 50s and laid 12 tackles.
#23 Jorja Haberle
Playing off the defensive line and running hard down the ground, it was fair to say Haberle was not too fazed about any oncoming traffic. At times she would see opponents forward of the ball and either try to sidestep them or go through them and kick long down the ground. Though Haberle could still improve her polish, she was a strong body who was composed under pressure and had the smarts to keep the ball moving in transition. A left-footer, Haberle has that lateral evasion to go with her power, so is one to watch for the future. Haberle had a team-high 27 disposals, including 11 in the first term.