Women’s Premier Division MOTW: Southern Power overrun Breakaways
Written by Phoebe McWilliams.
With both teams entering Round 3 with one win and one loss, the match between the Southern Power and the Newtown Breakaways was a crucial one.
The two sides have a history of being evenly placed, having finished fifth and sixth on the ladder in 2017.
Last season Newtown won two out of their three matches against the Power by very small margins – three and four points respectively. Therefore, there was no real favourite heading into Saturday’s game at Waratah Oval.
However the past two meetings weren’t an indication of what was to come, with the Power putting on an impressive performance to win by 39-points in perfect conditions.
The Power, who only kicked 16 points in Round 2 – and still managed to win – were looking for goal kickers. They found them with damaging forwards, Rheanne Lotter and Ashlee McClure. The two forwards dominated Saturday’s game, kicking seven of their Power’s 10 goals.
The dangerous-duo was helped by their team’s defensive pressure across the ground. Power defenders pushed up aggressively when their team had possession leading to many deep inside-50 entries. McClure capitalised kicking two of her three goals from set shots, whilst Lotter showed explosive pace and timing to kick the majority of her four goals on the run.
Former GWS GIANTS defender and Power stalwart, Kristy De Pellegrini filled in as Southern Power’s coach for the match in the absence of Abe Carcoca who was away on holiday. She was thrilled to come away with the victory.
“Newtown has always been a very competitive game for us over the years. There’s never been a dominant side,” said De Pellegrini.
“Most seasons they beat us once and we beat them once, so I was absolutely stoked with the girls on the weekend. They killed it.
“Rhe (Lotter) is our full-forward and Ash (McClure) usually sits up at centre half-forward to help bring the ball down. Both of them probably prefer to kick goals from playing on rather than set shots, so we try to kick the ball to their advantage over their heads so they can run onto it.”
Another major contributor to the win was defender, Michelle Podnecky. Podnecky, or “Monty” as she is known to her teammates, was given the task of shutting down Breakaways’ key player, Laura Holdsworth. It was Podnecky’s third impressive performance for the season, having been named in the best every week thus far.
“Monty sits at full back and is pretty much our goal keeper. She’s consistently good and puts in 110 per cent every game.
“Laura Holdsworth is Newtown’s main goal kicker usually, so we put Monty on her. She did a great job of taking her out of the game,” tells De Pellegrini.
Southern Power now moves to third on the ladder and will take on the Auburn-Penrith Giants this Saturday at Greygums Oval at 12.20pm.
Other matches on the weekend included a top of the table clash between Macquarie University and UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs.
Despite an impressive debut by GWS GIANTS’ Rebecca Privitelli (two goals) for the Bulldogs, her side went down by four points on Saturday night. Macquarie University 3.1.19 defeated UNSW Bulldogs 2.3.15.
Macquarie University’s Simone Freeman kicked two more majors to keep her position on top of the goal-kicking tally (eight goals).
Sydney University Bombers (8.3.51) had their first win of the season defeating the UTS Shamrocks (6.5.41). Finally, the Western Wolves (0.2.2) were kept goalless by the Auburn-Penrith Giants (3.1.19).
Phoebe McWilliams is a current AFL Women’s GWS GIANTS player, who is also a freelance writer for publications such as Inside Football Magazine. Following the 2018 NAB AFL Women’s Season, McWilliams will be playing for the Hawthorn Football Club in the VFLW for the remainder of the year.