SANFLW Round One Recap
What an opening round to the 2020 SANFLW season, with two games decided by under a goal and a great showcase of young talent in another.
We saw a much-improved Eagles, a dream start by the Bulldogs, young guns shine for West, and a huge statement by North.
We thought we would revisit the weekend of SANFLW footy in our weekly SANFLW Round Recap and stay tuned for our SANFLW Team of the Week for Round One!
(Scroll down to see each of the game's reports)
South Adelaide v Woodville-West Torrens
4.4 (28) to 3.6 (24)
Friday night’s season opener was a positive sign for the future of the SANFLW, as the back to back reigning premiers and the winless Eagles combined to put on an outstanding match. It was the kind of game that you would expect from two potential finalists, a clear contrast from the 9.12 (66) to 2.0 (12) belting that the Panthers gave the Eagles last year.
Familiar names were the stands outs for both sides, with Czenya Cavouras (20 dipsosals,11 tackles) and Jaimi Tabb (12 disposals, seven tackles) getting into the thick of the action.
However, the highlight of the match by far was the countless number of counter attacks by both sides, with the two teams combing for a total of 47 rebound 50s. As far as personal highlights go however, Jess Kirk’s huge grab during the third quarter easily takes the cake.
The Eagles tendency to put numbers around the ball and force the turnover before quickly rebounding looked extremely dangerous and would have resulted in more goals if it wasn’t for the odd stray handpass or smothered kicked. However, the Panthers countered this by opting to move the ball slowly and wide, denying the Eagles with a fast route straight through the middle.
The game also saw the sides showcase some of their new recruits, with Layla Rogers collecting 11 disposals and three tackles on her Panther debut, meanwhile former Bulldog turned Eagle, Ruby Allan also showed some promising signs.
In the end, it was South Adelaide’s signature strong defence that won them the game, that managed to hold firm despite the Eagles having countless inside 50s in the dying stages of the match. And leading from the front once again, Panther’s Captain Lauren Buchanan’s bump halted the Eagles chance of their first SANFLW win.
What We Learnt:
South Adelaide has once again shown that one of their biggest strengths is their depth. After losing several key players to the AFLW, the Panthers round one clash saw eight players don the blue and white for the first time, along with Mark and Northcott who donned the colours for the first time since the 2018 season. In fact, four out of the five players that made up South’s best list weren’t playing at South last season (Northcott, Meyer, Wilson and Clifton). And yet they still have plenty of more recruits to show off.
The Eagles on the other hand, have shown that their performances during the trial games were not just one-off performances but were in fact a sign of great things to come. While they didn’t get the win, their ball movement and pressure around the stoppages have improved beyond sight when compared to last season. And if they can put that much pressure around the ball on an oval the size of Flinders University Stadium’s, then they should have no trouble replicating that on the smallest ones in the league (ACH Group Stadium, Unley Oval and Coopers Stadium).
North Adelaide v Glenelg
7.4 (46) to 2.10 (22)
We thought that this match could be a Grand Final preview, with the surprise packet of 2019 coming up against the 2019 Grand Finalist for the first time since the Roosters bet the Tigers by two points during the semi-final last year.
The Tigers certainly started out as the better side, however inaccuracy proved to be their biggest enemy, as the side booted three points in just over two minutes to close the first quarter. And when you’re up against a team with the scoring capacity as North Adelaide, you just can’t afford to miss that many.
The Roosters would go on to boot five unanswered goals until Glenelg got one back at the twelfth minute mark of the third quarter.
However, considering the number of debutants that the Tigers had for their round one clash, it wasn’t a bad performance. In fact, they actually finished with one more scoring shot, despite losing by four goals.
And looking at the stats, Glenelg won the clearances (22 to 15) and the tackles (41 to 34), and only narrowly lost the inside 50s by two. Glenelg were even more efficient with the footy, finishing with 73% disposal efficiency compared to North Adelaide’s 68%.
However, the one overwhelming stat was Glenelg’s lack of execution in front of goal; finishing with a 17% scoring efficiency, which is much lower than North’s 64% efficiency.
From a Glenelg perspective, some of the positives would be the performance of some of their young Tigers, with Madisyn Freeman collecting 14 disposals and four clearances while first-gamer Tessa Kohn finished with 12 disposals and four clearances.
Likewise, from the Roosters perspective, their positives besides a round one win, would be the performance of Cristie Castle, who finished the round one clash with 15 disposals, six marks and five clearances.
What We Learnt:
North Adelaide is certainly going to be dangerous during the 2020 season. The 2019 Grand Finalist was tipped as one of the big players again for the 2020 SANFLW season, and what better way to kick off the season than with a win against another side that was tipped to do some damage this season. The Roosters scoring capacity is certainly one of their biggest strengths, no doubt thanks to having Kelly Barltrop up forward.
Sam Franson is going to be a very valuable player for the Tigers during 2020. Starting the season with a standout performance, she collected 16 disposals and a game high six tackles. If she can continue this performance throughout the season, it will certainly go a long way in helping Glenelg’s Premiership campaign.
Sturt v West Adelaide
2.3 (15) to 5.6 (36)
The win that West Adelaide would have wanted to kick off their year with, as they aim to finally make finals. The Bloods were in control for the whole match, with the Double Blues not scoring a major until the fourth minute mark of the final term.
However, West Adelaide could have put the game away much earlier if it wasn’t for some inaccurate kicking, but they did enjoy having the first look of the footy for most of the match, winning the clearance count, 30 to 15.
Likewise, West Adelaide certainly had the most chances up forward, collecting 24 inside 50s to Sturt’s 13.
And the futures of both of these clubs look bright, with several youngsters putting on impressive displays, such as Abbie Ballard (27 disposals, nine clearances), Hannah Prenzler (12 disposals, seven marks) and Zoe Prowse (11 disposals, eight hit outs).
Credit does go to Sturt for refusing to go do down without a fight, as they booted two goals and two behinds in the final quarter and held West to just one major.
And another positive for Sturt was the performance of their co-captains, with Georgia Bevan collecting 19 disposals and six tackles while Maya Rigter finished the match with 18 disposals and seven marks.
What We Learnt:
While it is only round one, West Adelaide certainly has enough talent to make a mark during the 2020 season. With Ballard, Venning, Martin and Kustermann all collecting over ten disposals while both Culhane and Elsegood both booted two goals. Add to this, the possible return of Newman and Biddell at the conclusion of the AFLW season, and it equals one seriously stacked side.
As for Sturt, well they would be one of the league leaders when it comes to young talent, second to only the four-time reigning U17s Premiers South Adelaide. With players like Prowse, Prenzler, Swan, Griffth, Kuiper, and Ballard; they have some serious young talent. And given sometime, these players will develop into a very strong core playing group, maybe not until the end of this season or the start of 2021, but if they can keep these players together then the potential is there.
Central District v Norwood
5.3 (33) to 4.5 (29)
This was the game that the Bulldogs had been dreaming of, not only did this game mark the first time that the club has one their round one match in the SANFLW, but it is by far the biggest scalp that the side has taken in the short history so far.
Their nail biting four-point victory seems a lifetime away from the last time these two sides met, when Norwood thrashed them, 12.9 (81) to 2.1 (13).
Norwood did start the better of the two sides but only just, heading into the main break, 1.1 (7) to 0.1 (1). But coming out after the first break, it was a late birthday present for the young Maddy Lane, who booted the Dogs first after two minutes of play.
It was after halftime that the Bulldogs really warmed up though, with four goals coming from Katelyn Rosenzweig in the final two quarters of the match, which not only sealed the Dogs historic win but also sets the tone of what could be a massive season for the powerful forward.
Norwood did win the hit outs (32 to 11) and narrowly won the clearances (22 to 19) and inside 50s (28 to 21), but the Bulldogs were ferocious around the footy, finishing with 54 tackles, compared to Norwood’s 38.
Matilda Zander (Norwood) and Shelby Smith (Central District) were the stand outs for their respective sides, with Matilda collecting 20 disposals and six tackles while Shelby collected 20 disposals and five clearances.
What We Learnt:
Katelyn Rosenzweig is still AFLW standard. While she only played eight games last season, she still managed to boot nine goals. And it seems that this season will see her return with that same strong presence up forward. Four goals are good enough, but against a quality team in the form of Norwood, makes it even better. And if Centrals want to surpass people’s expectations this season, having her in the forward line will certainly help.
We said in our predictions that Norwood may find it hard under the circumstances that they have been given. Losing star players to the AFLW and having no home ground advantage until much later in the season, this is certainly not the start they needed. In saying that, it is still Norwood, and they still have some great players on their list.