SANFLW Team of the Week - Round Three
The inaugural SANFLW Indigenous Round sees a young gun spur the Bulldogs over the line, a father-daughter star for the Redlegs, and a recruit records a 4-goal haul.
Three weeks into the SANFLW season and every side now has a win on the board. Making it easily the tightest start to a year yet, the headline of the season so far has been the emergence of a new flag contender, the Double Blues. However, Sturt’s supreme start to the year aside, the weekend was full of notable performances and results.
Norwood and Woodville-West Torrens kicked the round off with a thrilling clash on Friday night. The Eagles got the drop on the home side in the opening term but failed to convert their chances by scoring 4 behinds. The Redlegs, spurred on by Jade Halfpenny, then turned things around with 3-second term goals to take a healthy lead into halftime.
An Alana Lishmund goal during the third term proved to be enough for Norwood to keep the Eagles at arm’s length as McKenzie Dowrick’s goal midway through the final term wasn’t enough to undo the 4.5 (29) to 2.9 (21) defeat.
Then Saturday morning’s clash between Central District and West Adelaide had a similar start to the round-opener, with the Bloods booting just 4 behinds in the opening half. However, both sides flicked the switch after halftime as, with just a goal kicked between the 2 in the first half, the 2 sides combined for 8 third term goals.
Then the Bloods, who were well supplied by Keeley Kustermann and Abbie Ballard, hit the front during the early stages of the final quarter with 2 unanswered goals. Just when it looked like the reigning Grand Finalists were going to run away with the win, Georgia McKee, a first-year SANFLW player and Bulldogs' young gun, stepped up with 3 goals in 8 minutes to clutch the Bulldogs first win of 2022, 8.4 (52) to 6.6 (42).
Saturday saw the highly anticipated matchup between the original powerhouse, North Adelaide, and the rising powerhouse, Sturt. North Adelaide had 7 scoring shots during the opening half to Sturt’s 1 – yet they were all minor scores. Living up to the big occasion, the big names fired; Georgia Bevan was strong for the Double Blues while Kristi Harvey was a standout for the Roosters.
But it was the Double Blue from the territory, Alysha Healy, who stole the show as she struck with the first and only goal of the game during the final minutes of the last quarter. A homage to the saying, ‘the last goal wins’, Healy’s goal claimed the victory for the undefeated Double Blues, 1.4 (10) to 0.7 (7).
Sunday’s match between close-neighbours, South Adelaide, and Glenelg, started with a shootout as 3 goals were kicked in the opening 6 minutes of play. But from there, things drastically dried up as just a sole goal kicked during the next 2 quarters.
Then the Tigers, who were celebrating Ellie Kellock’s 50th SANFLW match, looked like they had put the Panthers to bed with an early goal into the fourth term. However, 2 miracle goals by Jess Waterhouse, 1 from the boundary and 1 from beyond the arc, nearly spurred a final quarter fightback for South but ultimately it was too late as the Tigers claimed a hard-fought 4.3 (27) to 5.6 (36) win.
Scroll down to see the Team of the Week, plus a small breakdown of the squad.
Captain: Georgia McKee
Vice-Captain: Jess Waterhouse
There were many contenders for this week’s leadership positions, with Kustermann, Harvey, Halfpenny, and Smith all putting together worthy displays. However, Round Three goes to the forwards, with McKee’s and Waterhouse’s 4 goal hauls being too good to overlook.
Centre half-forward is home to the Golden Grove young gun, Georgia McKee, who has caught plenty of attention in just her third match of SANFLW footy. At just 15, the young forward came in clutch for the Bulldogs by kicking 4 goals, including the match deciders, as well as having 17 touches, laying 7 tackles, and taking a team-high total of 3 marks. All this makes her a SANFLW prospect that is worth keeping an eye on.
The vice-captain, South Adelaide’s Jess Waterhouse, was responsible for all of South’s goals on Sunday. She kicked 4 straight majors, regardless of the distance or the angle, and her standout performance also included 18 disposals, 4 marks and 4 tackles.
Playing off half-forward is a familiar name from Glenelg, Sam Franson. Franson was fantastic for the Tigers, with 19 touches to go along with her 8 tackles, 7 marks and a goal.
Norwood’s Jade Halfpenny continues to get better each week. Round Three saw the exciting prospect collect a game-high total of 27 disposals as well as 7 clearances and 4 marks.
West Adelaide’s Georgie Gray rounds out this week’s forward line after kicking 2 goals from her 8 touches. Gray also kept the pressure on up forward by laying 4 tackles.
Rucking duties belong to the Bulldogs’ Isabelle Starmer, who is continuing to build her case as one of the best rucks in the SANFLW at the moment. Starmer had 12 disposals, 9 tackles and, arguably more importantly as a ruck, a round-high total of 24 hit outs.
South Adelaide product and Adelaide Crow, Nikki Gore, was involved in most things that were good for the blue and white. It was a hat-trick of match-highs for Turbo, as she finished with 27 touches, 9 tackles and 7 marks.
Rounding out the followers is West Adelaide’s Keeley Kustermann who will no doubt cross paths with Turbo in the AFLW someday. The Westies young gun was influential by having her best game to date. In total, Kustermann had a game-high of 31 disposals as well as 9 tackles, 3 clearances and a sole goal.
The centre is home to Georgia Bevan, who was influential on the Double Blues side with an equal game-high total of 22 touches and a team-high total of 9 marks.
The wing is home to North Adelaide hard-runner, Katelyn Pope, who collected 16 touches, 6 marks, and a team-high total of 4 tackles. The other wing is home to Norwood’s Lana Schwerdt, who enjoyed an all-around great display thanks to her 25 disposals, 5 tackles, 3 clearances and sole goal.
Centre halfback is home to the Double Blue product, Kiera Mueller, who continued to be a valuable member of the ladder-leading side’s backline. The young gun defender had 17 touches, 5 marks and 4 rebound 50s.
Joining Mueller down back is a Double Blue ruck/defender turned Adelaide Crow, Zoe Prowse. Prowse made her presence felt with 18 touches and 6 tackles, but more noticeably she was outstanding in the air, finishing with 13 hit-outs and 6 marks.
Deep in defence is North Adelaide’s Kristi Harvey, who finished with an equal match-high total of 22 disposals. Harvey put these touches to good use as she collected 12 rebound 50s which also sit well alongside her total of 8 marks.
Renee Forth continued to be an outstanding performer for the Eagles as she gathered a team-high total of both disposals, 23, and marks, 3. Forth’s fantastic display also included 6 tackles.
Rounding out the backline this week is Norwood’s Ashlee Gould, who was a key contributor for the Redlegs thanks to her total of 15 touches and 6 rebound 50s.
Jasmine Simmons made her presence felt around the stoppages for the Eagles. Keeping the pressure on her opponents throughout the match, Simmons collected 19 touches and laid a game-high total of 11 tackles.
The Glenelg ball magnet, Jess Bates, continued to live up to that mantle during Round Three. Finishing with an equal team-high of 24 touches, Bates also had 7 tackles, 6 marks, and kicked a crucial goal for her side.
Norwood’s Sachi Syme was a highlight on Friday night for the Leggies, finishing with 25 touches, 3 marks and 2 tackles to her name.
Unlucky not the be a starter this week is Adelaide Crow and Bloods’ product, Abbie Ballard, who was amazing for Westies with her 20 touches, 13 tackles and 6 clearances.
Leading from the front for the Bulldogs was their skipper, Shelby Smith, who was a strong contributor during her side’s first win of the year. In total, the inspirational captain had 24 disposals, laid 10 tackles, and had 5 clearances.
Continuing her string of great games this season, Sarah Goodwin had another strong display for the Tigers on Sunday. As well as having an equal team-high total of 24 disposals, she also had 6 rebound 50s and 3 marks – which makes it a good performance from a good win.
Young Redleg, Molly Brooksby, had her best SANFLW game to date. Brooksby had a career-high of 17 touches to go along with her 4 tackles and pair of clearances.
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