2024 SANFLW Grand Final preview: South Adelaide vs. Norwood

A GRAND Final spot is on the line in the penultimate match of the 2024 SANFL Women’s season. Glenelg, coming off a loss in the semi-finals, will utilise its double chance against an impressive Norwood team that denied Central District back-to-back premierships and will look to become the first team to win a flag from fourth spot.

  • Team
  • South Adelaide
  • Norwood


South Adelaide enters the 2024 SANFLW Grand Final having not lost a match since Round 8, stringing together another seven games in a row after winning five on the trot leading into that encounter. Unfortunately for the Panthers, their past two defeats have been at the hands of the Redlegs, with Norwood’s 4.4 (28) to 0.3 (3) victory at The Parade the lowest score in South’s history.

Since then, Norwood has had an up-and-down finish to the season, looking almost certain to lock in a finals spot with a fortnight to go, but tough losses meant a six-point victory in the final round against West Adelaide secured its place in the post-season series. The Redlegs have since seen off challenges from Central District and Glenelg to reach the grand final in coach Brad Ferrall‘s first season.


South Adelaide: 10
Norwood: 5

Prior to Norwood’s last two wins, South had won 10 of the first 13 meetings between the sides, including both finals encounters. The pair become the first side to face off in a second grand final, after South Adelaide won the first of two flags in 2018, then knocked out Norwood in the semi-final stage a year later. The Panthers won both clashes last year by a kick or less, but Norwood has proven to be a thorn in their side in 2024.


South Adelaide:

B: Tiffany King (14), Jaslynne Smith (35)
HB: Sam Pratt (22), Esther Schirmer (23), Carly Milsom (45)
C: Laquoiya Cockatoo-Motlap (11), Mel Anderson, (6), Emma Charlton (25)
HF: Lily Baxter (56), Lucy Northcott (12), Emily Brockhurst (13)
F: Jordann Hickey (4), Doreena Hansen (26)
R: Soriah Moon (32), Caitlin Couch (10), Nikki Nield (2)
INT: Taya Maxwell (19), Lauren Clifton (41), Shae Archbold (17), Charlotte Dolan (28), Bri Cleggett (27), Layla Visgaudis (20), Morgan Johnston (1), Chelsea Farr (21)


B: Sophie Arkun (43), Rosie Boon (46)
HB: Sarah Branford (9), Charli Hazelhurst (39), Charlotte Nenke (44)
C: Kiana Lee (28), Candice Belbin (26), Tahlita Buethke (1)
HF: Amelia Rusden (10), Shai Hiscock (13), Elle Lineage (50)
F: Jade Halfpenny (22), Adrienne Davies (8)
R: Kate Alexander (61), Stephanie Simmonds (17), Sophie Armitstead (36)
INT: Nicola Burns (23), Coby Morgan (2), Emma Clark (7), Lana Schwerdt (41), Georgina Birchall (37)


South Adelaide is the only team to make a forced change with Litonya Cockatoo-Motlap out with a knee injury. The Panthers have brought in hard running utility Morgan Johnston, skipper Brianna Cleggett, defender Charlotte Dolan and midfielder Chelsea Farr among the four inclusions as part of an extended bench.

Norwood has not been forced to make any changes to its winning preliminary final lineup, though the three named emergencies are Grace Whittaker, Kyah Jaffer and Jazmine Egan.


The Panthers have a number of tall talents roaming around with forwards Shae Archbold and Taya Maxwell marking targets, while Esther Schirmer has been a crucial intercepting machine down the other end. Lily Baxter and Layla Vizgaudis provide important run and carry down the outside, while Emma Charlton can rotate between both wing and forward like the duo and provide some great defensive pressure too.

Norwood looks to the run of Coby Morgan, with Under 16s ruck Kate Alexander and bottom-age defender Charli Hazelhurst the other State Academy members. Georgina Birchall was also in the extended squad earlier this season, while Kiana Lee is fast becoming an AFLW Draft mature-age option for clubs.


Norwood would need to defy history in order to win the 2024 SANFLW premiership. No team has ever won from outside the top two, but the Redlegs would tie both South and North Adelaide on two flags apiece. However if South wins, it will go outright on top with three flags, fitting for coach Rick Watts also leading the way for games coached (66) and won (48). The Panthers also have five current premiership players in the gameday squad compared to Norwood’s one.

On-field stats show that both sides are ranked inside the top three for scoring and least points conceded, as well as one and two respectively for differential. South generates more scoring shots, but the Redlegs ball efficiency to produce scoring shots from possessions is crucial. Perhaps the most intriguing is South is the number one kicking team in the competition, while Norwood is the number one handballing team, however South is also ranked second in handballs as the highest possession club across the competition.


South Adelaide has been the most consistent side this season and if it was any other team in opposition, the Panthers would be strong favourites. While finishing clear top and heading in on a seven-game winning streak means they are favourites, there would be that nagging feeling that an 0-2 record against Norwood this season is a little itch that needs to be scratched. Expect a single-digit margin between these two sides and a fitting grand final finish.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments