GSFLW Team of the Week - Round 8
The weekend was for the top teams: the ladder-leading Demons won by 74 points, the second-placed Eagles won by 83, and the third-placed Roosters won by 23 points.
Round Eight of the GSFLW played host to 3 wins by the league's current top 3 teams: Willunga, McLaren and Strathalbyn. The weekend also saw plenty of big performances from well-known players.
The likes of Tiffany Copley, Sheena Peters, Nari Wright, Holly Ifould and Caitlin Radbone were all impressive at Willunga Oval. While down on the south coast was where Tess Huxtable was busy continuing her run of standout displays.
What we learnt this GSFLW weekend:
Victor Harbor is far more competitive than most people realise.
Tess Huxtable is currently one of the competition's best underrated in-form players.
The premiership is Willunga's to lose.
Now that we are past the season's midpoint, the top 4 look relatively steady. Mt Compass is the only team outside the current top 4 that have the strongest chance of making the finals. But even then, they sit 2 wins behind the Magpies with a game less in hand.
McLaren settled their match against Yankalilla early thanks to a blistering 7-goal opening half that helped set up their 83-point win, 13.12 (90) to 1.1 (7).
Needing to win to keep in touch with the ladder-leading Demons, the Eagles wasted no time in putting this match to bed by booting 7 unanswered goals during the first half. To the Tigers' credit, they did keep fighting. They registered their first goal of the match during the third term – but by then, they were already trailing by 50 points.
Tiffany Copley was a standout for the Eagles: while Sheena Peters kicked a round-high haul of 5 goals. In the yellow and black, Nari Wright tried her best – along with Tegan Cross and rising Tiger Kimberley Rowe.
It took some time but eventually, Strathalbyn was able to shake off a gritty Victor Harbor to claim a 23-point win, 3.6 (24) to 0.1 (1).
After a scoreless opening term, the Roosters were able to gain some breathing space during the second quarter by booting 2 unanswered goals. The Roosters, with this margin firmly in place, then ran out the remainder of the match to claim the hard-fought win.
This match shows that the Kangaroos are around the mark. Maybe they are only a few key position players short of becoming highly competitive. But unfortunately, they are now an extra key position player short due to the loss of a rising star midfielder of theirs.
Willunga cruised to a 74-point win over Mt Compass and reinforced their position at the top of the ladder in the process, 12.10 (82) to 1.1 (7).
The visitors took the fight to the reigning premiers during the opening term. However, with the Demons averaging 3 goals a quarter, the red and white slowly surged away to record the comprehensive win.
Holly Ifould was a constant presence around the footy and Caitlin Radbone was too quick to be stopped: and it was players such as these that helped the Demons win repeated centre clearances throughout the day. The Bulldogs were well-supplied by Georgina Thomas, Kiara Upitis, and Amy Vitkunas.
The Demons are rightfully top. Even more so considering that the Demons were without some star-studded names on the weekend, such as Shae Archbold, Courtney Gum, Lauren Buchanan, Bella Rigby, Katrice Turner or Kristen Rothwell – just to name a few.
Scroll down to see the Team of the Week, plus a minor breakdown of the squad.
Captain: Holly Ifould
Vice-Captain: Tiffany Copley
Sheena Peters was simply too good on the weekend. Spearheading McLaren’s attack: Peters finished the one-sided clash with 5 goals to her name, the highest goal tally of the round.
Joining her up forward is Hannah Georgeson (2 goals) who was impressive as well for the Eagles. Likewise, Ruby Flanagan-Sjoberg has continued to offer glimpses of her bright potential with yet another strong display for McLaren.
And making it 4 forward selections out of a possible 6 for McLaren is their well-known and fast-paced product, Layla Rogers. Finishing with 2 goals to her name, Rogers was a standout from a highlight-packed weekend for the Eagles.
Willunga's Ella Radbone was an ariel threat on the weekend. Although it was mainly in the ruck where she did the most damage - she was a presence around the ground all day.
Clare Holmes made the most of repeated forward entries by Willunga. This Demon's forward finished with 2 goals to her name, and she could have had plenty more – but she instead chose the team-first option and decided to share it around.
The followers have class written all over them this week. In ruck is Tiffany Copley, McLaren’s Best on Ground; on-ball is Holly Ifould, Willunga’s Best on Ground; and Tess Huxtable, Strathalbyn’s Best on Ground, rounds out the followers.
As a tall yet athletic player, Copley made an impact in the ruck for the Eagles – despite usually being a defender. Huxtable enjoyed another amazing display for the Roosters.
And Ifould was also amazing for the Demons. She was explosive and quick: which made her a major presence around the stoppages for Willunga throughout the day.
Nari Wright, the talented Yankalilla midfielder, reminded people of why she is on a SANFLW list. This silky in-and-under midfielder put on a Best on Ground display for the Tigers.
The outside midfielders were also classy on the weekend. Brooke Boileau was involved in most things that were good for Mt Compass, while Willunga’s Caitlin Radbone was simply too quick to catch.
Heading into a match as the favourites is always a risky affair. All it takes is a few goals from the underdog side and suddenly all the pressure to win causes the fancied side to come crashing down. Luckily for Strathalbyn, they had Eliza Fergusen behind the ball: who routinely kept the Kangaroos at bay and, more importantly for them, kept the Roos goalless.
Willunga’s Grace Duffy showed her endurance on the weekend. This Demon kept running until the final siren and was a constant presence behind the footy throughout the day. And in the same game, albeit for the other side, Kiara Upitis tried her best to combat a classy Willunga forward line. This tough rebound defender threw herself into the thick of the action whenever she had the chance.
Another Mt Compass defender joins this week's backline in the form of Caroline Scott. Scott showed her willingness to attack the footy and her ability to bust through the pack on Sunday. This is why she was picked as one of the Bulldogs' best afield.
Tegan Cross has long been one of the better defenders within the Great Southern competition. And her recent performance is hopefully the latest step towards capturing that title once again.
Victor Harbor has found themselves a special recruit in the form of Nicole Mark. The former South Adelaide SANFLW premiership defender turned Central District defender brings much-needed experience, composure and talent to the Kangaroos.
Georgina Thomas comes in as this week’s second ruck option after impressing with the Bulldogs. Likewise, Strathalbyn’s Georgie Pater adds some midfield talent to the rotations.
Speaking of midfield talent, Courtney Barry returned from her SANFLW duties and impressed massively at Victor Harbor. This experienced on-baller is no doubt a much-welcomed and much-needed return for the Kangaroos.
Kimberley Rowe, Yankalilla’s rising star, makes an appearance this week after putting on one of the better displays for the Tigers: typified by her selection amongst Yank’s best players.
The final 2 spots in the Round Eight MWM GSFLW Team of the Week belong to Strathalbyn’s standout wingman, Heidi Groom; and Willunga leader, Stellar Remphrey-Pese.
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Minutes with Moose would like to thank all of our ambassadors and team members.
Special thanks to all those who nominated players for our Team of the Week.
All of these images have been taken by the MWM team.