NTFLW Player Focus: Kierra Zerafa (Waratah)
IN the closest clash of the entire weekend in the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier division, Waratah came from behind to record a famous two-point win over the Tiwi Bombers.
The Bombers were the better side for much of the game and they held a three-goal lead heading into the last quarter, but then the ‘Tahs kicked into gear in the final quarter and came from behind to snatch the win in the dying minutes.
One of the best for the Waratahs on the weekend was young star Kierra Zerafa. Although she did not spend most of the game in her usual forward position, she was still able to have a huge influence around other parts of the ground.
This Player Focus takes an in depth look at the young star’s performance.
Stats: Two kicks, one handball, one running bounce
Beginning in the midfield, Zerafa was in the contest rom the get go, and was involved in the first passage and stoppage. Although the play did not result in a disposal for her, her pressure helped ensure Tiwi would not get any easy possessions. She finally got a clean possession four minutes into the action.
Zerafa had dropped back into defence and intercepted a ball coming into the forward line. Although she did not cleanly take the intercept mark, her second efforts ensured she was able to pick up the ball and clear it with a handball. Not too long after, she helped her teammate land a holding the ball free, which she subsequently took.
After she returned from a spell on the bench she dropped back into defence and took the kick in after Tiwi had scored a behind. She made best use of the acreage of space in front of her to take a bounce and then clear the ball comfortably out of defence by foot.
Stats: Three kicks, one handball
Zerafa again started in the middle in the second quarter, but started more on the defensive side of the circle for the ‘Tahs. She did not physically touch the ball for a while, but ran with the contest for much of the opening part of the quarter. Her defensive pressure even caused her Tiwi opponent to kick the ball out on the full at one stage.
Her first kick for the quarter was one into forward 50 but after Tiwi really started to control the game she was moved to the last line of defence. She then began to have more of an influence on the game, handballing out of packs and even giving the old don’t argue before clearing out of 50.
Her only big blemish of the quarter was when she gave away a holding the ball free for not getting rid of the ball quick enough deep in defence.
Stats: Two kicks, three handballs
Zerafa again started in the middle, and it did not take long for her to get involved in the game. She found herself at the bottom of the first tap down of the game, which saw her able to get the first clearance of the game. Although it did land inside forward 50 for her team, it was intercepted by a Tiwi opponent.
Zerafa spent much of the quarter between the 50m arcs, and she was busy through the middle trying to get things going for her team moving forward. Unfortunately for her and her ‘Tahs teammates, it was in vain as the Waratah’s could not put a goal on the board.
Stats: two kicks, one handball, one smother
Zerafa again started in the middle of the ground to begin the final quarter, and much of her involvement in the fourth term was kicking it into 50 and setting up the scoring opportunities for her team.
She did get moved into the forward line for a stage during the quarter, but did not have to do too much as her team mates kicked the ‘Tahs back into the match, and ultimately on to victory.
AROUND THE GROUNDS
PINT absolutely flexed their muscles on their weekend, destroying the Wanderers to the tune of 174 points. Darwin also had a big win, defeating Palmerston by 50 points, while Nightcliff did it easy against Southern Districts, winning by 72 points.
The NTFLW takes a bye next week as the NTFLW representative side are hosting Claremont in an interstate representative clash.