Preview | SANFLW R6: Bays and Panthers set for top clash
ANOTHER top of the table clash takes place in the SANFL Women’s as the tightness of the league has become evident after just five rounds. All four games are difficult to predict, with just one win separating third from seventh and the importance of gaining the two points all the more crucial.
Reigning premiers North Adelaide and 2023’s big improvers Central District find themselves in a huge Saturday afternoon battle. For the winner, a top four spot following the round’s end beckons, with the Roosters set to jump above the Dogs with a victory, while Central District can close the gap on the top two sides given Glenelg and South Adelaide face-off, if the Dogs get up. Central District lost last week after stringing together back-to-back wins, while North sunk to its third loss in four games to be 2-3 after five games.
B: Jamie Parish (19), Kristi Harvey (5)
HB: Erin Sundstrom (34), Ella Quinn (14), Amelie Borg (22)
C: Katelyn Pope (13), Julia Clark (33), Kalani Bates (16)
HF: Aprille Crooks (10), Sky Jensen (50), Brittany Perry (19)
F: Cristie Castle (1), Hannah Ewings (31)
R: Isabelle Starmer (11), Chelsea Farr (28), Jessica Edwards (2)
INT: Laela Ebert (9), Lauren Gauci (35), Lauren Hoffmann (45), Kristen Rothwell (15), Sarah Steele-Park (36), Jayde Visser (30), Amber Ward (24)
B: Jess Allan (35), Shannon Murphy (10)
HB: Caitlen Teague (17), Madison Lane (40), Laitiah Huynh (41)
C: Dakota Williams (38), Shelby Smith (1), Julia Teakle (6)
HF: Jasmine Evans (27), Tess Gerhardy (33), Elaine Grigg (8)
F: Karissa Searle (22), Lauren Breguet (28)
R: Georgia Avery (18), Maria Moloney (66), Sophie Eaton (12)
INT: Caitlin Wendland (42), Katelyn Rosenzweig (2), Georgia Madigan (7), Chantel Reynolds (30), Shelby Raven (36), Jovanka Zecevic (23), Demi Sonneman (60)
North Adelaide regains co-captain Kristi Harvey coming back from suspension, as well as the experienced Cristie Castle and young gun Laela Ebert, while Henley’s Lauren Hoffman is set to make her SANFL Women’s debut.
Central District has only included one fresh face on an extended bench, but it’s a big one. Maria Moloney comes in for her first game of the season, with the Port Adelaide AFLW hardnut to provide extra toughness around the ball.
The inclusion of Moloney to the side will be critical for the Bulldogs to help free up captain Shelby Smith. The skipper will get less attention from the opposition and share the load in there, while Caitlin Wendland has also been in great form through midfield. Teenagers Dakota Williams and Elaine Grigg also bring the heat and will take it up to the Roosters.
North Adelaide will enjoy having Harvey back to add to that experienced defence that includes Erin Sundstrom and Amelie Borg. Though inaccurate at times last week, Hannah Ewings is a gamebreaker for the Roosters, while Katelyn Pope is in sizzling form this season.
Playing its first game at Prospect Oval this season, the Roosters would back themselves to get the job done despite missing players. Central District will still be without Charlotte Riggs who is a huge loss, but if the Bulldogs can get on top in the midfield, then their forwardline could do a lot of damage.
Coming off their first win, the Eagles will host Sturt in attempt to collect back-to-back wins. They’re a fair way off the pace in terms of percentage – due to the belting at the hands of North a few weeks back – but are only two points out of the top four. Sturt is percentage out of the top four, and incredibly if Norwood and North both lose, the Double Blues will jump back in. They are yet to win consecutive games this season, but based on the LWLWL form, it is time for another ‘W’.
B: Ella Little (22), Madison Turner (47)
HB: Shineah Goody (34), Leah Cutting (26), Brianna Walling (13)
C: Hannah Scholar (19), Grace Martin (7), Beatrice Devlyn (6)
HF: Bianca Portaro (3), Georgie Blades (39), Yasmin Duursma (60)
F: Sophie Whitwell (42), Abbey Dowrick (15)
R: Amie Blanden (12), Channy Mitchell (5), Sophie Zuill (24)
INT: Nikita McRostie (25), Jemma Charity (2), Ashley Baker (44), Marlie Fiegert (30), Audrey Holt (10), Natasha Holmes (40), Brooklyn Kraft (33)
B: Sarah Wallace (37), Lily Whitcombe (24)
HB: Hannah Prenzler (20), Kiera Mueller (33), Jaimee Wittervan (35)
C: Elsie Dawes (5), Alisha Gepp (15), Molly Fletcher (31)
HF: Georgia Swan (3), India Rasheed (6), Georgia Bevan (7)
F: Tessa Doumanis (4), Millie McCarthy (1)
R: Jasmyn Hewett (41), Kate Harris (23), Isobel Kuiper (18)
INT: Isabella Drew (28), Alysha Healy (10), Monique Bessen (16), Amy Brooks-Birve (44), Jemma Valente (36), Abbey Rigter (11), Olivia McEvoy (42), Claudia Edmonds (60)
Woodville-West Torrens’ task of causing an upset is not made any easier by the loss of captain Annie Falkenberg. While Falkenberg is out due to injury, Poppy Waterford will miss after being suspended. The Eagles have named an extended bench with four players returning, including a potential debutant Georgie Blades, and experienced player, Natasha Holmes.
Sturt will go in minus rebounding defender Alex Ballard who suffered a knock last week and will miss due to concussion. She is out of the side along with ruck Alex Pearce who is unfortunately the collateral of the returning Jasmyn Hewett. The AFLW premiership player is back in alongside fellow top flight talent in Kiera Mueller, while Jaimee Wittervan also returns among five inclusions.
The class rose to the top last week with Shineah Goody standing tall off a wing, as she and Abbey Dowrick stepped up in the Eagles’ first win of the season. Yasmin Duursma and Grace Martin also have that touch of class, while Jemma Charity booted three goals in an impressive effort in front of goal last week.
Regaining Hewett will be huge for the Double Blues who should control that aspect of the game, while also celebrating midfielder Kate Harris‘ 50th SANFL Women’s game. The onball brigade of Harris, Isobel Kuiper, Alisha Gepp and Georgia Bevan is critical to the team’s success.
Though Ballard will be a loss, the Double Blues regain Mueller and Hewett and should be too strong for the young Eagles. Woodville-West Torrens without Falkenberg – who has been a ray of consistency this season in defence – will feel the loss greater, and though they should be competitive, will be up against it taking on a strong Sturt side.
After starting the season 2-0, West Adelaide has dropped the past three games to sink to seventh on the ladder with a mounting injury toll. Those missing players have hurt the clearly talented team as the Bloods have had to dig deep into their reserves. Norwood has gone the other way despite boasting the same 2-3 record. After dropping their first three games, the Redlegs are gunning to become the first finalist to start that slowly, and have won the past two in impressive fashion. The tightness of the League is evident in the importance of the match, with West Adelaide capable of being inside the top four after this round if results go its way.
B: Emma Kilpatrick (43), Millie Gentle (3)
HB: Grace McNicol (21), Jess Chyer (38), Lily Johnson (33)
C: Olivia Smith (22), Keeley Kustermann (8), Asha Dufour (46)
HF: Ruby Ballard (51), Nicole Hooper (11), Lauren Young (30)
F: Steph Walker (19), Kelly Barltrop (15)
R: Tess Huxtable (49), Zoe Venning (9), Illish Ross (60)
INT: Saraid Kustermann (6), Bec Hansen (10), Steph Tredwell (42), Charlie Scutchings (12), Astrid Powell (16)
B: Grace Whittaker (60), Ashlee Gould (16)
HB: Sarah Branford (9), Lauren Smith (24), Hannah Dunn (64)
C: Tahlita Buethke (2), Rosie Boon (46), Morgan Johnston (1)
HF: Coby Morgan (51), Shai Hiscock (13), Lana Schwerdt (41)
F: Kaitey Whittaker (6), Jade Halfpenny (22)
R: Sachi Syme (4), Elle Lineage (50), Tesharna Maher (14)
INT: Rosette Zerella (32), Najwa Allen (66), Charlotte Nenke (44), Nicola Burns (23), Emily Bartsch (27)
West Adelaide’s injury list grows larger by the day, with Ella Maxwell injuring her quad last week, and is now out alongside Tabby Saville who is unavailable for Round 6, and Tamika May. Coming into the team is Saraid Kustermann, Charlie Scutchings and double bottom-ager Steph Tredwell after a rest last week.
Norwood will miss a few big names of its own, with captain Alison Ferrall (nose) out after a head clash last week, as well as the suspended Georgie Jaques. Late withdrawal Ebony O’Dea missed last week and is unavailable for Round 6, while a couple of NT talents in Kaitey and Grace Whittaker make their debuts, while Port Adelaide’s Hannah Dunn returns.
The Bloods have that top-end talent in Lauren Young and Iilish Ross, with Zoe Venning coming off the back of an impressive performance in her 50th game. They are understrength at the moment but battling away well each week, with the youth such as Asha Dufour and Emma Kilpatrick able to step up and take a bigger role.
Norwood will have plenty of athletic types in the team with the Whittakers coming in at respective ends, while Jade Halfpenny and Sarah Branford have been in strong form all season. Elle Lineage made the most of her late inclusion last week and will be one to watch this season, while speedster Coby Morgan is dangerous inside 50.
Norwood will head in as favourites given the respective recent forms, but with the likes of Young and Ross in the side anything is possible for the Bloods. Norwood is missing a few key players as well, though they have been in every game they have played this season.
Another top of the table clash – a third for the season in just six rounds – Glenelg meets the next challenger in line for its pole position spot in South Adelaide. Since dropping Round 1 to West Adelaide in a disappointing defeat, the Bays have not missed a beat, winning four straight games and rising to the top of the ladder. The Panthers have also strung together four wins so far, with the blemish coming in Round 4 against Central District.
B: Jaslynne Smith (35), Esther Schirmer (23)
HB: Sam Pratt (22), Litonya Cockatoo-Motlap (18), Lucy Northcott (12)
C: Elise Barwick (24), Brooke Boileau (37), Holly Ifould (2)
HF: Cheyenne Hammond (29), Taylah Levy (33), Laqouiya Cockatoo-Motlap (17)
F: Jordann Hickey (4), Kyanne Campbell (60)
R: Soriah Moon (32), Caitlin Couch (8), Nicole Campbell (9)
INT: Lily Baxter (56), Tiffany Copley (14), Charlotte Dolan (28), Nicole Mark (16), Mel Anderson (52), Caitlin Radbone (34), Bella Rigby (1)
B: Matilda Scholz (28), Jess Searle (23)
HB: Ellen Tyminski (18), Shay’Lee Dayman (4), Marie Martino (15)
C: Sarah Goodwin (11), Madisyn Freeman (2), Brooke Tonon (40)
HF: Matilda Wilmore (19), Chelsea Packer (26), Lucy Armitage (14)
F: Ella Boag (43), Piper Window (8)
R: Alex Walker (35), Ellie Kellock (5), Tessa Kohn (13)
INT: Laura Chigwidden (24), Caitlyn Swanson (9), Jordan Horne (51), Violet Patterson (6), Tamsyn Morriss (12)
South Adelaide will be minus the injured Indy Tahau (leg) as well as consistent inside midfielder Senna Gulden, while Jorja Hooper is the unlucky one to make return for Jordann Hickey who returns to the team. Lucy Northcott, Charlotte Dolan and Bella Rigby join Taylah Levy as other inclusions.
Glenelg has made two changes with young gun Poppy Scholz out of the team with the injured Alice Bradley, while Laura Chigwidden and Jess Searle return to the side.
The in-form Piper Window will no doubt be a name South Adelaide is keen to stop, though the midfield of Ellie Kellock and Madisyn Freeman are both in great form. On the outside, Adelaide AFLW duo Brooke Tonon and Sarah Goodwin are tearing it up and creating plenty of run and carry.
Ruck Soriah Moon will hope to continue her great form with Brooke Boileau and Caitlin Couch two of the more in-form midfielders. In attack, Kyanne Campbell always looks dangerous, while Jaslynne Smith is a reliable player at the other end of the ground.
Set to be match of the round, it is difficult to pick. Glenelg has had its injury concerns over the journey but just keeps firing on all cylinders. The homeground advantage favours South Adelaide, and though injuries will impact the Panthers, they have the depth to cover them.