Sally Riley is back in

Are all Dogs scared of Thunder?

25.07.19 19:10

NT Thunder heads to chilly Ballarat to face the Western Bulldogs in Round 12 of the VFLW on Saturday afternoon at Mars Stadium.

Thunder welcome back experienced AFLW player Sally Riley into the forward line this week. Riley has three years of AFLW experience behind her and has recently signed on for the Gold Coast Suns’ inaugural AFLW team for 2020.

Exciting young faces for Thunder Mattea Breed and Shantel Miskin-Ripia return to the side this Saturday after spending the past weeks playing against the best young women in football from around the country, representing the NT in the Central Allies team in the NAB ALFW U18 Championships.

2018/19 NTFL Gwynne Medallist Janet Baird comes back this week to ignite the midfield for Thunder, accompanied by tall ruck option Kat Simmons, who also makes a return.

Katherine-based defender Billie Byers will travel with the team to Ballarat and play a key role in the backline with former AFLW Crow Sophie Armistead lining up at halfback in her return to the side.

The final change for Thunder this week is the inclusion of Rhiannon Busch, who comes into the midfield to play her third game for Thunder.

Sarah Allan, Jordann Hickey and Alysha Healy are all out with minor injuries and soreness this week, while Sharona Bishop will miss the remainder of the season after sustaining a broken arm in last week’s loss to the Casey Demons.

Anne Hatchard, Stevie-Lee Thompson, Dayna Cox and Shoneeka Abbott are all unavailable for selection this week.

ThunderW coach Heidi Thompson said this game will be one of the biggest challenges for the team, coming up against a strong Bulldogs outfit who are in good form.

“The Bulldogs are an AFLW heavy side who are coming into form, although have been inconsistent this season, they will be a challenge for us this week.

“Our focus is on a game by game approach for these next four games, where we will be on the road, which poses its own set of challenges and demands.

“These final rounds give us the opportunity to play our young talent coming through in the likes of Shantel and Mattea, which lends itself to a vibe of team unity provided each player puts in high energy and effort,” said Thompson.

VFLW Round 12

Western Bulldogs vs NT Thunder
2:00pm AEST, Saturday 27 July
Mars Stadium, Ballarat

B: Billie Byers, Lateesha Jeffrey (c), Caitlin Couch
HB: Charlie Deegan, Shantel Miskin-Ripia, Sophie Armitstead
C: Kylie Duggan, Janet Baird, Katie Streader
HF: Sally Riley, Michelle Ellis, Tayla Hart-Aluni*
FF: Machaelia Roberts, Gemma Cusack, Tayla Thorn
FOLL: Mattea Breed, Lisa Roberts, Rhiannon Busch
INT: Ebony Miller, Morgan Johnston, Celina Whan, Amy Chittick, Kat Simmons

EMG: Madeline Gault, Jaylah Williams, Eliza Morrison

IN: Sophie Armistead, Janet Baird, Mattea Breed, Rhiannon Busch, Billie Byers, Shantel Miskin-Ripia, Kat Simmons, Sally Riley

OUT: Shoneeka Abbott (unavailable), Sarah Allan (sore), Sharona Bishop (arm), Dayna Cox (unavailable), Anne Hatchard (unavailable), Alysha Healy (sore), Jordann Hickey (knee), Stevie-Lee Thompson (unavailable)

*Indicates 23rd player