SANFLW Team of the Week - Round 5
SANFL Women's footy is back - and it feels like a brand new season for more reasons than one.
For starters, it has been three months since Round Four of the SANFLW wrapped up. The other reason is simply because most teams have been bolstered by the return of AFLW talent - which has already been reflected in this Round's Team of the Week.
As for the weekend of footy, well Round Five of the SANFLW saw Sturt's two game winning streak come to an end as they fell to the Roosters, whose final score of 83 is the highest total score thus far this season. West Adelaide managed to bounce back from their Round Four draw with a strong win over the Eagles, and playing away from home Norwood made easy work of Central District. The last game of Round Five saw the much-improved Tigers fall just short of the Panthers who came back in the final quarter to hold onto second spot.
Unlike the previous round's Team of the Weeks, there is no longer any stats available for the SANFL Women's competition due to resource and restriction issues. This means that this Team of the Week is based purely on who stood out when we reviewed the games, as well as the players that received the most nominations - with no stats available, good players will undoubtedly miss out occasionally.
Scroll down to see the this round's Team of the Week and a small breakdown of the named players.
Coach: Krissie Steen (North Adelaide)
Captain: Nikki Gore
Vice-Captain: Caitlin Gould
The two top sides, North Adelaide and South Adelaide, hold the most spots in this week's side with five apiece - followed by the much-improved Tigers with four spots, and the Redlegs and Bloods with three named players each.
Unsurprisingly, the undefeated Roosters coach Krissie Steen earns the title as the coach of our Team of the Week, following their huge win on the weekend. Nikki Gore was impressive during her first SANFLW match of this season - and her clean skills and willingness to get into the thick of the action certainly helped the Panthers get over the line. So because of these game-winning actions, Turbo receives this week's Captaincy of the side.
The Vice-Captaincy goes to a player that was playing against Nikki Gore, and that was Glenelg's Caitlin Gould. She was not only dangerous in the air but at times showed great pace, which is rare in a ruck - and her actions and presence when she went forward, almost got the win for the Tigers.
As for the rest of the side - North Adelaide's forward line looked as dangerous as ever thanks to the continually strong Kelly Barltrop. South Adelaide forward Jess Kirk continued where she left off, booting three goals during the Panthers narrow win, while young gun duo and two Breakthrough Player nominees, Mattea Breed and Hannah Ewings, were impressive for their respective sides. Cristie Castle was busy doing what she does best, while Amber Ward was not only strong in defense but she also played her part in several of the Roosters' attacks up-forward.
Glenelg's AFLW players were outstanding, with Ebony Marinoff making her presence felt throughout the match, while Eloise Jones showed her clean skills and pace. As mentioned before, this week's Vice-Captain Caitlin Gould was dangerous both in the air and on the ground - while young defender Milli Gentle played well against quality opposition during her first SANFLW match this season.
Making the side for the fifth straight week is Norwood's number one, Matilda Zander while Sturt Co-Captain Maya Rigter was the sole Double Blue to make this Round's Team of the Week. South Adelaide's AFLW players were extremely impressive, with Lisa Whiteley taking several strong intercept marks while Nicole Campbell provided plenty of composure through the middle. Hannah Munyard marked her return to SANFLW footy with several of her signature run and carry's - while this week's Captain Nikki Gore's tackling was at its best.
Central District defender duo, Sarah Allan and Demi Sonneman, were impressive for the Bulldogs, as was Lauren Smith who makes the Team of the Week for the first time this year - while Anne Hatchard in the long sleeve guernsey was a force to be reckoned with for the Roosters. West Adelaide stars Rachelle Martin and Maddi Newman were at their usual best - while Charlotte Dolan is the only Eagle to make this week's team, despite this being just her second game of senior SANFLW footy. Finally, one of the best rucks in the competition, Leah Cutting, rounds out this round's Team of the Week.
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Special Thanks to all those who nominated players for this week's team.