Women's Match Report: Round 3 South vs Norwood
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South Adelaide vs Norwood
Round 3 - Flinders University Stadium - 29/02/20
Goals: Kirk 4, Bennett, Buethke, Meyer, Nijhuis, Tahau
Best: Charlton, Tahau, Meyer, Pratt, Kirk, McKinnon
A standout performance by the Panthers saw them defeat rival Norwood by five goals at Flinders University Stadium on Saturday night.
"Another really rounded performance last night. A four-quarter effort was asked for and delivered. It is going to take us some time, but we are slowly putting the pieces together and starting to play some 'South' footy" Head Coach Rick Watts said.
"Our team defence was huge last night, and we will need to keep connecting and improving for when we meet West and North."
"North Adelaide showed yesterday that they are clearly the team to beat this year and Westies are a close second so we will have to continue to improve to ensure we can be competitive" he said.
The Panthers equalled their biggest SANFL Women's winning margin against Norwood, thanks to a dominate second half display that saw them boot five goals to two to set up the 9.2 (56) to 4.2 (26) victory.
The opening half was what people would expect from a top four clash, with both teams opening up the ground and rebounding out of defence.
Meanwhile, playing against her old side, Tahlia Meyer (22 disposals, three tackles) was also impressive early, with a fast-paced run and carry straight through the middle.
And upon making her return to the side, Madison Bennett (11 disposals, four tackles) was extremely dangerous up-forward, with a strong tackle midway through the first quarter.
However, it wasn't until the tenth minute mark that the first and only goal of the opening quarter was kicked, with Jess Kirk (three contested marks) taking her first of many great marks before finishing truly to give the Panthers a 1.1 (7) to 0.1 (1) lead at the first break.
But this lead would be short lived, with Norwood booting the first goal of the second quarter to even the scores.
Just a minute later however, second gamer Tahlita Buethke (seven disposals) intercepted Norwood's attempt to switch the play and drilled it to restore the Panthers lead.
Norwood would once again respond with a goal just a minute later before another second gamer in Kelli Nijhuis (three disposals) could respond with her first of the match.
Then Norwood came close to once again responding but the Panthers defence desperately held on in what was one of the plays of the day.
With Lucy Northcott (four tackles) winning a three on one contest before Sam Pratt (18 disposals, eight tackles) was able to clear to McKinnon, whose kick over the back eventually found Indy Tahau (14 disposals) who was able to run in and finish off nicely to give South a 4.1 (25) to 2.2 (14) lead at the main break.
Just 44 seconds into the third quarter, Bennett broke through the pack and finished off beautifully to get her first of the match.
Meanwhile, the Panthers link up plays out of defence continued to be a highlight, with Tahau taking a strong pack mark out of defence before both Elyse Haylock (13 disposals) and Lauren Buchannan (13 disposals) showed their pace with an impressive play along the wing.
The ball eventually found its way to the dangerous Bennett, who was able to outrun her opponent and set up Kirk perfectly in the goal square to gift Jess her second of the match.
Norwood were able to steady with a goal through Bella Smith, but the Panthers once again struck back with Meyer somehow sneaking one through Norwood's defence without them touching it.
Unfortunately, the game was not without injury, with a Norwood player going down midway through the quarter and she had to be stretched off with a suspected knee injury.
Upon resuming the match, the Panthers continued their immense forward pressure, with Tahau taking the ball for a run along the boundary before Kirk followed up with a huge tackle on a Norwood defender which forced the ball out of play.
Kirk would then get her hands on the ball moments later as she won a two on one marking contest before kicking truly once again to send the Panthers into the final break with an 8.1 (49) to 3.2 (20) lead.
Coming out after the final break, Charlton, the Best on Ground for the Panthers, continued her stand out performance with a self-fed handpass along the wing.
Likewise, Kirk continued her outstanding game up forward, booting the goal of the game from the boundary line after just two minutes of play.
Norwood would once again go on to reply with a goal of their own and they came close to kicking another not long after, but Smith showed her speed and shut down their attack.
Not long later the siren would sound to give the Panthers the 9.2 (56) to 4.2 (26) win, their biggest win over Norwood since their five-goal win in round ten, 2018.
The Panthers now enjoy a weekend off before facing North Adelaide in a top of the table clash at Flinders University Stadium on Saturday, March 14, from 6:45 pm.