State Academy notes: 2024 WAFLW – Round 14

A NEW top two emerged over the weekend in Round 13 of the WAFL Women’s, and there were plenty of State Academy members who rose to the challenge. We took note of those players across the four matches including a couple of big ball-winners.

>> WAFLW Round 14: Weekly Wrap | Player Focus (Mia Russo) | Team of the Week

  • Team
  • West Perth
  • East Perth

West Perth:

#1 Megan Norbury (Wing/Defender)
Stats: 6 disposals, 4 tackles, 1 inside 50

Norbury had a quiet game but had to bounce back from a crunching hit early which saw the action suspended. In the few times she did win it, Norbury moved well through traffic and did apply good pressure in the game, working hard down the wing and working back into defence.

#3 Samara Sallie (Defender/Forward)
Stats: 7 disposals, 2 tackles

The defender did not see a lot of action in the match, charging out of the back 50 on a number of occasions. Though her technique was a little rough, her disposals ultimately proved effective. In the final term she was thrown forward late where she had a couple of handballs and set up the last goal to Bianca Webb.

#35 Mia Russo (Forward/Midfielder)
Stats: 23 disposals, 4 marks, 4 tackles, 11 inside 50s, 3 goals, 2 behinds

The star of the show. Russo had a day out and feasted on the Royals, playing both forward and midfield, converting three majors including a ripping running goal in the final term. Her full performance was detailed in the WAFLW Round 14 Player Focus which is linked at the top of this article.

East Perth:

#3 Lucy Greenwood (Forward/Midfielder)
Stats: 7 disposals, 1 mark, 1 tackle

The talented forward had her moments and looked lively whenever she went near it, but had limited opportunities throughout the match. Often under pressure, Greenwood still looked classy with her decision making and ball use, copping an early knee knock from friendly fire but playing out the rest of the game.

  • Team
  • South Fremantle
  • Subiaco

South Fremantle:

#4 Noa McNaughton (Forward)
Stats: 10 disposals, 2 marks, 1 tackle, 3 inside 50s, 2 goals, 1 behind

McNaughton looked dangerous inside 50 and kicked one of the goals of the year six minutes into the fourth term where she sold candy multiple times and snapped around her body while falling backwards. Funnily enough just a few minutes later she missed one of the easiest ones she will get running into an open goalsquare. Overall though she competed hard was clean by hand and finished with the two goals and one near miss that just fell short.

#19 Zoe Keley (Forward/Ruck)
Stats: 4 disposals, 3 tackles, 19 hitouts, 2 inside 50s, 1 behind

Did her best work through the ruck with her jump after starting forward, finishing with 19 hitouts. She did not have a heap around the ground with her last touch being after the siren to kick the final behind of the day.

#33 Molly O’Hehir (Midfielder)
Stats: 15 disposals, 6 tackles, 2 inside 50s

It was a quieter day from O’Hehir who still had her moments, getting back to help the defence and run off half-back. She produced a nice fend-off in the middle of the ground to get it forward and it led to the first score of the day, while copping a knock in the opening minute of the third term off Wolmarans. She continued to apply pressure and provide some dash at different moments.

#42 Alira Fotu (Forward)
Stats: 17 disposals, 2 marks, 3 tackles, 4 inside 50s, 2 goals

The dynamic tall forward was slick and exciting inside 50, working up the ground as well to get her hands on the ball. Both her goals came in the space of a few minutes during the second term, providing a spark for the Dogs to get on top in the match. She provides a marking target but is mobile and competes at ground level as well.


#22 Olivia Wolmarans (Forward/Ruck)
Stats: 14 disposals, 5 marks, 1 tackle, 8 hitouts, 2 inside 50s, 2 goals

Converted two goals largely out of nothing with some crafty forward work. Her first was while being tackled in the goalsquare managing to get ball to boot, then from congestion snapped around her body. Wolmarans applied strong defensive pressure throughout the match and competed hard all game.

  • Team
  • Peel Thunder
  • Claremont

By: Nathan Sepe

Peel Thunder:

#2 Evie Cowcher (Defender)
Stats: 23 disposals, 3 marks, 10 tackles, 6 inside 50s

Cowcher was Peel’s most prolific ball user, dominating with her strength and composure in and around the contest, whilst consistently providing some ease with her kicking out of defensive 50 in transition. Under pressure she was able to shrug off an opponent with her power and generate some speed and acceleration, consistently looking for ways to maintain flow in offensive transition. In moments of congestion on the outside, Cowcher had the dare to look inwards into the corridor and take on an aggressive kick. Her tackle pressure was consistent all day and was unwilling to let Claremont’s midfielders get any momentum moving forward.

#4 Holly Britton (Wing)
Stats: 15 disposals, 3 marks, 5 tackles, 1 inside 50

Britton played a concise role on the outside, utilising her composure to find the best options by hand and keep the ball moving to reduce congestion. Her positioning often found good patches of space on the outside although she needed a bit more composure at times to take advantage of some loose ball opportunities. Her defensive tackling pressure was elite, and whilst Peel were unable to generate a lot of offensive movement, Britton was at task limiting the forward half impact of Claremont. She was a quick decision-maker and moved the ball forward well by foot.

#8 Dakota Sexton (Midfielder/Defender)
Stats: 8 disposals, 8 tackles, 3 inside 50s

Sexton capitalised on her tackling ability, forcing stoppages around the contest across various stages of the game. Around the stoppages, she was able to get her hands on the footy and get off a quick handball but missed her teammates on the run. Under pressure one-on-one, her handball game was efficient and that is where she was able to stand up moving forward.


#16 Claudia Wright (Midfielder/Forward)
Stats: 13 disposals, 6 marks, 5 tackles, 2 inside 50s

Wright’s intent to move the ball forward with energy was a team-lifter for Claremont, consistently applying her run and carry with every second touch. Whilst Wright had some forgettable moments early cursed by the unexpected bounce of the Sherrin, she cleaned her ball use up, providing neat kicks out of defensive 50 to start chains of kicks down the line. Her capacity to assess the play ahead of her gave her time and space to position well for a few intercept makes in the second half. Her calmness and poise out of defensive 50 was impactful in holding Peel to just one goal for the game.

#18 Bec Anderson (Forward/Ruck)
Stats: 7 disposals, 4 marks, 2 tackles, 7 hitouts, 1 inside 50

Anderson did not see as much of the footy compared to her last WAFLW outing but was able to stand up early in the contest with her aggressiveness out of the centre stoppages where she took the game on in the ruck. She was able to show some burst and power in her game and when she was moved inside forward 50 and took a strong contested mark early in the piece.

  • Team
  • Swan Districts
  • East Fremantle

Swan Districts:

#5 Carys D’Addario (Midfielder/Forward)
Stats: 24 disposals, 5 marks, 5 tackles 1 inside 50

One of the talented midfielder’s better games this season, working hard in close, but also getting involved on the outside to put pressure on the opposition defence. She won a number one one-twos, combined well with Lily Paterson and got back defensively as well to move it from half-back to the middle. A real all-round game from D’Addario who did as much defensively as she did offensively.

East Fremantle:

#12 Taya Chambers (Defender)
Stats: 17 disposals, 5 marks, 1 tackle

A really big game from Chambers who was a rock in defence. She rebounded the ball time and time again, providing some nice movement from the back 50. She took several intercept marks and used the ball fairly well, with her height and bodywork coming to the fore. A strong all-round performance from the top-ager.

#14 Zippy Fish (Midfielder)
Stats: 27 disposals, 4 marks, 7 tackles, 7 inside 50s, 1 goal

Just another day in the office for Fish who was electrifying across the match. She was clean, ran hard and just found the ball with ease. Her finish on goal during the third term after running out of the centre stoppage and eventually getting on the end of it was pure silk. Fish also upped her defensive game, laying a great run-down tackle midway through the third quarter, and finished with seven tackles for the day.

#19 Alicia Blizard (Forward)
Stats: 6 disposals, 3 tackles, 1 inside 50, 1 goal

Blizard did not get many chances and was well contained by comparison to past weeks, but her goal came late in the first term when standing up in a tackle she was able to snap it with the outside of the boot. She had a couple of ‘almost’ moments but it did not quite eventuate.

#21 Tiani Teakle (Defender)
Stats: 12 disposals, 3 marks, 1 tackle

Back in defence, Teakle providing a good replacement for Leanne Gubbins and added both strength and aerial presence. She took a few good marks and mopped up in the back 50, working it clear from danger on a number of occasions.

#29 Natasha Entwistle (Defender)
Stats: 8 disposals, 4 marks, 3 tackles

Not as much as usual in her facilitator role from half-back, but Entwistle competed hard all game and stepped up when called upon to do so. She pushed up to the wing at times and held a good line, while being defensively accountable and able to be a switch option too.

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