Preview | SANFLW R8: Finals-defining action

FINALS spots are up for grabs in Round 8 of the SANFL Women’s competition with the top five on the verge of breaking away from the bottom three. If Norwood, Sturt and Glenelg all win their respective matches on the weekend, then the gap between fifth and sixth would be three games with four rounds remaining, effectively slamming the door on finals for the three bottom sides.

  • Team
  • South Adelaide
  • West Adelaide


South Adelaide enters the home match against West Adelaide running hot off the back of three consecutive wins. The Panthers’ only blemish this season came at the hands of Central District back in Round 4, and they have already accounted for West Adelaide back in Round 3. That was the first of West Adelaide’s five straight losses as the injuries began to mount and the Bloods good form in the opening fortnight fell away.


South Adelaide:

B: Jaslynne Smith (35), Esther Schirmer (23)
HB: Sam Pratt (22), Litonya Cockatoo-Motlap (18), Tiffany Copley (14)
C: Elise Barwick (24), Indy Tahau (37), Cheyenne Hammond (29)
HF: Holly Ifould (2), Taylah Levy (33), Laqouiya Cockatoo-Motlap (17)
F: Jordann Hickey (4), Lucy Northcott (12)
R: Soriah Moon (32), Caitlin Couch (8), Brooke Boileau (37)

INT: Mel Anderson (52), Charlotte Dolan (28), Caitlin Ross (15), Nicole Mark (16), Elissa Brook (53), Caitlin Radbone (34), Senna Gulden (25)

West Adelaide:

B: Emma Kilpatrick (43), Jess Chyer (38)
HB: Lily Johnson (33), Georgie Pater (26), Grace McNicol (21)
C: Olivia Smith (22), Ruby Ballard (51), Milli Gentle (3)
HF: Charlie Scutchings (12), Lucy Boyd (2), Lauren Young (30)
F: Molly Petersen (57), Gemma Houghton (67)
R: Tess Huxtable (49), Zoe Venning (9), Bec Hansen (10)

INT: Saraid Kustermann (6), Asha Dufour (46), Ella Maxwell (45), Kelly Barltrop (15), Tiana Fernandez (20)


South Adelaide has made the two changes for the clash, with Indy Tahau and Taylah Levy replacing the injured Bella Rigby and fellow Under 16s talent Lily Baxter who will represent South Australia at the AFLW Under 16 Championships. Victor Harbor’s Alissa Brook was close to a League debut but will have the chance to win a Development League flag this weekend, alongside Caitlin Ross who is the other emergency.

West Adelaide will be minus a couple of top-end AFLW experienced players in Keeley Kustermann and Iilish Ross, with the sore Stephanie Walker and Under 16s state representative Steph Tredwell also out of the team. Coming into the side is Port Adelaide key forward Gemma Houghton, as well as debutant Molly Petersen, Georgie Pater and Ella Maxwell.


South Adelaide has plenty of quality waiting to squeeze into the team through the reserves, but the likes of Elise Barwick, Senna Gulden and Brooke Boileau have been in ripping form for the Panthers, while Lucy Northcott and Jaslynne Smith up their respective ends.

West Adelaide will have a strong forwardline with the three-pronged tall attack of Houghton, Lucy Boyd and Lauren Young, while up the other end, Emma Kilpatrick and Jessica Chyer will be relieved by the return of Pater back there for extra support.


Two sides in very different form, it is hard to see South not winning the match given it is at Noarlunga and the Panthers have a far healthier list with selection options. It is high stakes for the Bloods though, who need to win to keep the dream of finals alive.

  • Team
  • Norwood
  • North Adelaide


Norwood comes into the contest in red-hot form having won four consecutive matches on the trot. Comparatively, the Redlegs have dropped their past four games to sit 2-4 and in serious danger of missing finals. A win to the home side could see them jump into second spot, while the Roosters can keep within a couple of games of the top four if they can cause an upset.



B: Ashlee Gould (16), Emily Bartsch (27)
HB: Sarah Branford (9), Amelia Rusden (10), Lauren Smith (24)
C: Tahlita Buethke (2), Georgie Jacques (61), Morgan Johnston (1)
HF: Coby Morgan (51), Tesharna Maher (14), Shai Hiscock (13)
F: Rosette Zerella (32), Jade Halfpenny (22)
R: Sachi Syme (4), Lana Schwerdt (41), Ebony O’Dea (63)

INT: Rosie Boon (46), Grace Whittaker (60), Molly Brooksby (18), Nicola Burns (23), Charlotte Nenke (44)

North Adelaide:

B: Jamie Parish (19), Kristi Harvey (5)
HB: Amelie Borg (22), Ella Quinn (14), Aprille Crooks (10
C: Katelyn Pope (13), Julia Clark (33), Erin Sundstrom (34)
HF: Lauren Hoffmann (45), Sky Jensen (50), Brittany Perry (19)
F: Doreena Hansen (41), Hannah Ewings (31)
R: Isabelle Starmer (11), Chelsea Farr (28), Jessica Edwards (2)

INT: Cristie Castle (1), Laela Ebert (9), Lauren Gauci (35), Tayla Gordon (23), Kelsi Ley (63), Ella Metcalfe (40), Sarah Steele-Park (36)


Norwood welcome back a top young star in AFLW draft prospect Molly Brooksby for her first game of 2023 after overcoming knee and hamstring injuries. She is joined in the team by Amelia Rusden, with the Redlegs losing AFLW-listed players Najwa Allen and Hannah Dunn.

North Adelaide have brought in an extended bench for the crucial Round 8 clash, with Doreena Hansen and Brittany Perry adding some punch inside 50 and Amelie Borg slotting into the defence. The Roosters will be without double bottom-ager Jayde Visser who has state representation, as well as Kalani Bates (concussion) while Ebony Miller makes way.


Norwood’s midfield of Brooksby, Ebony O’Dea, Lana Schwerdt and Sachi Syme is incredibly strong and will look to win the ball at the source, while ruck Georgie Jaques is set for a great battle with Isabelle Starmer in the ruck.

The Roosters have relied on the run of Katelyn Pope this season, while Hannah Ewings and Sky Jensen will be a scoring source with Hansen and Perry inside 50.


Norwood looks primed to make it five in a row at The Parade so deserve the favouritism. North Adelaide is still a danger despite losing various players throughout the year, so the Roosters cannot be underrated. A loss however ultimately shuts the door on trying to defend their premiership.

  • Team
  • Glenelg
  • Woodville-West Torrens


Glenelg has slipped back outside the top four after sitting pretty in pole position after four straight wins. The Bays looked like the team to beat for a while, but back-to-back losses to South Adelaide Norwood saw Glenelg tumble back to fifth. A win here and the Bays will be back in the top four, with Central District and Sturt battling it out. For the Eagles, they will be keen to keep the morale high and try and finish the last five weeks with some positivity, but even winning them all might not quite be enough to guarantee a finals spot.



B: Marie Martino (15), Poppy Scholz (20)
HB: Ellen Tyminski (18), Shay’Lee Dayman (4), Demi McCarthy (33)
C: Sarah Goodwin (11), Madisyn Freeman (2), Violet Patterson (6)
HF: Lucy Armitage (14), Matilda Scholz (28), Chelsea Packer (26)
F: Ella Boag (43), Piper Window (8)
R: Alex Walker (35), Ellie Kellock (5), Tessa Kohn (13)

INT: Laura Chigwidden (24), Caitlyn Swanson (9), Cassie Coombe (45), Madison Bennett (17), Tamsyn Morriss (12)

WWT Eagles:

B: Audrey Holt (10), Grace Martin (7)
HB: Abbey Dowrick (15), Channy Mitchell (5), Amie Blanden (12)
C: Brianna Walling (13), Jasmine Simmons (11), Sophie Whitwell (42)
HF: Beatrice Devlyn (6), Annie Falkenberg (8), Hannah Scholar (19)
F: Marlie Fiegert (30), Leah Cutting (26)
R: Shineah Goody (34), Christina Leuzzi (46), Brooklyn Kraft (33)

INT: Ashley Baker (44), Jemma Charity (2), Sophie Zuill (24), Bianca Portaro (3), Poppy Waterford (1), Cher Waters (20), Natasha Holmes (40)


Glenelg will be minus a couple of Under 16s talents in Matilda Wilmore and Jordan Horne, as well as Crows AFLW runner Brooke Tonon. The Bays receive another athletic defender in her absence in the form of Poppy Scholz, while Casie Coombe and Madison Bennett are also back into the side.

Eagles are minus AFLW experienced duo Yasmin Duursma and Ella Little, but regain captain Annie Falkenberg into that defence. Potential debutant, Fitzroy’s Christina Leuzzi, as well as Natasha Holmes and Cher Waters are all in line to step up as part of an extended bench.


Glenelg’s strength has been its midfield dominance and ability to score all year, so the Bays will be keen to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Norwood. Piper Window has been among the league’s best players, while captain Ellie Kellock and midfielder Madisyn Freeman have been consistent. The wing combination of Sarah Goodwin and Violet Patterson is also a dangerous one.

For the Eagles, Shineah Goody is that class above most when out on the field, while the talent of Abbey Dowrick, Jemma Charity and returning captain Falkenberg will help create run for the visitors in the match.


Glenelg should be too strong and look to bounce back from consecutive losses against a young Eagles outfit. Woodville-West Torrens can remain competitive in the last five weeks and look to ruin a few finals hopes though, and fresh off a break could be a problem if the Eagles start strong.

  • Team
  • Sturt
  • Central District


Two finals hopefuls do battle in the game of the round with the second placed Bulldogs travelling to Wigan Oval to take on the fourth placed Sturt. The evenness of the competition could not be more evident with what hinges on this result. The loser of the match will likely slip to fifth with a Glenelg victory, especially if Norwood gets up to rise above Central District on percentage, so the two points is crucial in this one.



B: Sarah Wallace (37), Lily Whitcombe (24)
HB: Hannah Prenzler (20), Alex Ballard (19), Claudia Edmonds (60)
C: Elsie Dawes (5), Jaimee Wittervan (35), Molly Fletcher (31)
HF: Georgia Swan (3), India Rasheed (6), Georgia Bevan (7)
F: Zara Walsh (57), Millie McCarthy (1)
R: Jasmyn Hewett (41), Kate Harris (23), Isobel Kuiper (18)

INT: Isabella Drew (28), Alysha Healy (10), Ally Ladas (17), Amy Brooks-Birve (44), Jemma Valente (36), Alex Pearce (38), Tahlia Walker (40)

Central District:

B: Laitiah Huynh (41), Shannon Murphy (10)
HB: Caitlen Teague (17), Jessica Allan (35), Charlotte Riggs (9)
C: Dakota Williams (38), Shelby Smith (1), Julia Teakle (6)
HF: Jasmine Evans (27), Georgia Avery (18), Elaine Grigg (8)
F: Karissa Searle (22), Lauren Breguet (28)
R: Olivia Levicki (13), Maria Moloney (66), Madison Lane (40)

INT: Caitlyn Wendland (42), Katelyn Rosenzweig (2), Georgia Madigan (7), Chantel Reynolds (30), Tess Gerhardy (33), Jovanka Zecevic (23)


Sturt will be minus defender Kiera Mueller, young gun Monique Bessen and the injured Tessa Doumanis (ribs) for the match. Coming into the contest are top-age talent Zara Walsh, dangerous forward Ally Ladas and debutant out of Flinders University, Claudia Edmonds.

Central District will be minus Under 16s representative Sophie Eaton and the injured Shelby Raven, but will be bolstered by AFLW-listed ruck Olivia Levicki, the consistent Shannon Murphy and speedy Dakota Williams.


Unfortunately Sturt will be minus their spiritual leader Maya Rigter who announced her retirement during the week following a famed career in the SANFLW. The Double Blues skipper said it was due to the “ongoing effects of concussion” and we wish her well in her pursuits in the next stage of her career.

The Double Blues have plenty of experience across the ground, with Hannah Prenzler and Alex Ballard in that defence, and Georgia Swan – who plays her 50th game this week – in attack alongside Georgia Bevan and India Rasheed who are keys to ensuring the grand finalists remain consistent across the board.

For the Dogs, they also have a 50th gamer in Caitlen Teague, with the midfielder among a group of strong competitors such as Shelby Smith, Maria Moloney and Caitlin Wendland. The cleanness of Madison Lane and Elaine Grigg has also been important for the visitors in their rise to second on the ladder.


The round may have saved the best game until last. These sides faced off at Thebarton Oval back in Round 2, and Sturt was far too good on that occasion. Since then, the Bulldogs have only lost the one match, are are stronger overall here, but Sturt is coming in off two comprehensive wins itself. Expect this to go down to the wire with plenty of quality across the board.

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