Women's Match Report: Round 4 South vs North
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South Adelaide vs North Adelaide
Round 4 - Flinders University Stadium - 14/03/20
Goals: Kirk 2, Campbell
Best: Campbell, Barry, Cavouras, Buchanan, Pratt
South Adelaide suffers its first loss of the season, falling by just four points during the top of the table clash against North Adelaide at Flinders University Stadium on Saturday night.
The Panthers, who had to make several late changes, managed to match it with the undefeated Roosters for most of the match, but a somewhat controversial goal with just two minutes left, all but sealed South's 3.3 (21) to 4.1 (25) defeat.
"It was an unusual preparation for all team, we knew coming into the game that we would need to have a four-quarter effort to compete with an exciting North Adelaide outfit," Head Coach Rick Watts said.
"We were forced to make several changes due to players being unavailable, illness and injury and had three girls playing their first games for the year, with two debuting," he said.
"We were extremely proud of girls after being undermined, we showed we can match it with the best and look forward to potentially meeting them again later in the year," he said.
Playing under the new safety restrictions, the Panthers used the wind to their advantage during the opening quarter.
"We started extremely well with three early goals and dominance in the first quarter, but we didn't take full advantage of said dominance, as North's defence stood resolute, especially Kristy Harvey and Amber Ward," he said.
Jaslynne Smith (11 disposals, eight rebound 50s) took a crucial intercept mark within the opening minute to halt North's first attack, while Teah Charlton (12 disposals, five tackles) set the tone for the rest of her night with a huge tackle.
After six minutes of play and during her first game for South Adelaide this season, Nicole Campbell (22 disposals, nine tackles) showed her class with the first goal of the match.
Then just two minutes later, Jess Kirk (five tackles) followed up with a strong mark before kicking truly to hand the Panthers an early two goal lead.
Jess Kirk kicks her first goal of the first quarter. Image: Nick Hook Photography.
Charlton continued her impressive opening quarter performance with an interception, which eventually found its way to Kirk who booted her second goal of the game and her tenth of the season.
Campbell and Indy Tahau (16 disposals, ten tackles) continued to get amongst the stoppages for the remainder of the quarter and the Panthers headed into the first break with a promising 3.1 (19) to 0.0 (0) lead.
However, coming out after the first break, the Panthers now had to defend against the wind.
"We tried something new in the second quarter by going ultra-defensive, but it wasn't a great choice as it played into North's hands and they got right on top of us," Watts said.
And within the first ten minutes of the second quarter; Castle, Barltrop and Ewings had all got on the scoreboard with goals, effectively wiping South's three goal lead in the process.
The Panthers were able to steady, and despite fielding a slightly different backline from the previous round, both Sam Pratt (ten disposals, six tackles) and Emily Brockhurst (six disposals) were able to stand tall.
Likewise, a desperate tackle by Elke Jarvis (three tackles) right by the goal line stopped North's chance of booting four unanswered goals and sent the side into the main break with a very narrow 3.1 (19) to 3.0 (18) lead.
The third quarter would be the Panthers last with the wind, meaning that South Adelaide would have to make the most of it in order to have a chance of winning.
"We dominated the third quarter and had nine inside 50's to one but squandered too many opportunities and once again, Kristy Harvey and the North backline continued to build an almost impenetrable wall," Watts said.
There were some notable events throughout the third quarter, with Campbell continuing to open up the ground with her run and carry, while both Czenya Cavouras (21 disposals, 12 tackles) and Courtney Barry (23 disposals, eight tackles) continued to be busy around the ground.
However, the Panthers would just manage a single point for the third term.
And with just a two-point lead, the Panthers had plenty of work to do in order to hold North Adelaide, who had the advantage of the wind during the final quarter.
"Going into the last quarter we expected North to dominate possession and field position again, so we knew we had to be all out attack to give ourselves a winning hope" Watts said.
"We asked the girls for effort and to be brave and they were exceptional for the first 15 minutes against a strong breeze but once again we just failed to capitalise" he said.
South Adelaide managed to hold the Roosters for the majority of the closing quarter and even managed the first score against the wind for the entire game.
However, this score would also be the Panthers downfall, as North were able to go end to end and score within just 48 seconds. In a display that was eerily similar to that of South's end to end winning goal against North Adelaide during round four, 2019, which occurred exactly 364 days prior to this match.
"Unfortunately, a lapse in concentration by us and a classy chain of possession resulted in a coast to coast goal by North; ironically mirroring the result from last year," he said.
And while the Panther defenders were confident that it was touched by Norths own player, the goal was given, sealing South's first defeat of the 2020 season.
Despite the loss, the Panthers still sit second on the ladder, a point above third and a win below top spot.
South Adelaide now looks to bounce back against Glenelg on Friday, March 20 at Hisense Stadium from 7:45 pm.
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