NWL Round Two Preview

Sarah Morton and her Central team mates are searching for their first win in the National Women's League this weekend. Photo: Marc Shannon / www.photosport.nz

Find out what’s in store in the National Women’s League this weekend with the official preview of Round Two. All three matches are set to take place on Sunday with Central hosting Southern United, Northern making the short trip to WaiBOP while Auckland welcome Capital and defending champions Canterbury United Pride have the bye.

Central vs Southern United
Memorial Park, Palmerston North
Sunday 22 October, 12pm

Referee: D Stevens
Assistant Referees: D Gallo, J Frank
Fourth Official: D Barry


Central: 1. Courtney Norman, 2. Sarah Morton, 3. Molly Woodhead, 4. Leah Gallie, 5. Emma Crewe, 6. Amber Phillips, 7. Rose Morton, 8. Meisha Boone, 10. Aniela Jensen, 11. Tilly James, 14. Jenna Barry, 15. Hannah Robert, 16. Mackenzie Barry, 17. Sophie Crewe, 19. Ella James, 20. Aoife Gallagher-Forbes
Coach: Simon Lees

Southern (from): 1. Tessa Nicol, 2. Sophie Dijkstra, 3. Coral Seath, 4. Kelsey Kennard, 5. Kristy Hayr, 6. Emily Morison, 7. Renee Bacon, 8. Zoe Thomas, 9. Shontelle Smith, 10. Ansley Martin, 11. Mikaela Hunt, 12. Ellie Issac, 14. Lara Wall, 15. Olivia de Ronde, 17. Sophie Aitken, 18. Mikayla Gray, 19. Holly Johnstone, 20. Eva Zellekens, 21. Sam Baldwin, 22. Katie Faulkes, 23. Elise Mamanu-Gray, 24. Samantha Richards, 26. Laura Wallis
Coach: Terry Parle


Southern will be flying after a shock win over a star-studded Auckland side on the opening weekend and their challenge now is to make sure that wasn’t a one-off performance. It was Southern’s first victory in the competition for over four years and they have a score to settle with Central after losing 2-1 last season in a game they felt they should have taken something from. Central were unfortunate to meet 2015 champions Northern first up but will be encouraged by their greatly-improved second-half performance in the 5-1 loss.


Simon Lees (Central coach): “It was a pretty tough start last week and we’re really looking forward to getting home and putting in an improved performance. I think Southern will be absolutely brimming with confidence after their win last week and have a lot of experience in their group this year. It’s going to be a really big game for both teams.”

Terry Parle (Southern United coach): “While that win was a good thing to have, we haven’t changed our approach and it’s important we don’t get carried away. Hopefully, that’s just the start and it’s been my job to keep the girls’ feet grounded and move forward.”


Central coach Simon Lees

Southern United coach Terry Parle

WaiBOP vs Northern
John Kerkhof Park, Cambridge
Sunday 22 October, 1pm

Referee: B Rattray
Assistant Referees: K Browning, S Rogers
Fourth Official: N Browning


WaiBOP: 1. Georgia Candy, 4. Hannah Reid, 5. Michaela Foster, 6. Leanna Ryan, 7. Emma Cawte, 8. Sarah Krystman, 9. Helen Talbot, 10. Ella Golding, 11. Katherine Robinson, 12. Leah Gubb, 13. Tianna Hill, 17. Kim Maguire, 18. Sarah McLaughlin, 20. Chelsea Elliott, 23. Angelique Tuisamoa, 24. Eileish Hayes
Coach: Barry Gardiner

Northern: 24. Emily Couchman, 3. Bernadette Goulding, 4. Shayden Cathro, 5. Stacey Martin, 6. Hannah Mackay-Wright, 8. Dayna Stevens, 9. Trudy Sandle, 10. Kate Loye, 13. Arabella Maynard, 14. Cara Lonergan, 17. Milly McWhirter, 18. Malia Steinmetz, 20. Catherine Pretty, 22. Jane Barnett, 23. Saskia Vosper, 28. Casey Klyn
Coach: Hayley Stirling


Northern will have revenge on their minds in heading down to Cambridge after seeing their play-off hopes dashed by an upset loss to WaiBOP in the final round robin game of last season. They will be favourites to exact it after the respective sides experienced contrasting results in the opening round, Northern charging out of the traps with a 5-1 win over Central while WaiBOP succumbed 4-1 to defending champions Canterbury. Midfield playmaker Kate Loye will have to overcome her divided loyalties in starring for Northern as she is coming up against her home federation.


Sarah McLaughlin (WaiBOP captain): “We were disappointed with the loss last weekend but we competed for good parts of the game. There’s definitely things that we can take out of it that we did well but things that we can do better as well, particularly in possession. I think we put ourselves under pressure by giving the ball away cheaply and we need to work on that for the coming games.”

Hayley Stirling (Northern coach): “We expect them to come out flying. It’s their first home game and, after the result they got against Canterbury, they’re probably going to want to come out and try to hit us. They did it last year over this side so I can imagine they’ll use that as a bit of confidence to draw on.”


Northern coach Hayley Stirling

Auckland vs Capital
Keith Hay Park, Auckland
Sunday 22 October, 1pm

Referee: W McNeely
Assistant Referees: T Day, D Neville
Fourth Official: M Archer


Auckland: 1. Nadia Olla, 3. Liz Anton, 5. Kate Carlton, 6. Nicole Mettam, 7. Tayla O’Brien, 8. Grace Jale, 9. Steph Skilton, 11. Jacqui Hand, 12. Maisy Dewell, 14. Britney Cunningham Lee, 15. Lily Taitimu, 19. Ally Toailoa, 20. Erinna Wong, 21. Megan Robertson, 22. Amy Waters, 24. Kathryn Gow
Coach: Gemma Lewis

Capital: 1. Cushla Lichtwark, 2. Libby Boobyer, 3. Serena Murrihy, 4. Bex Jefferies, 5. Francesca Grange, 6. Emily Stotter, 7. Maggie Jenkins, 8. Katie Barrott, 9. Emma Main, 10. Maya Hahn, 11. Michaela Robertson, 12. Jade Morrissey, 13. Rosie Wild, 14. Asha Strom, 16. Kennedy Bryant, 18. Natasha Ingram
Coach: Emma Evans


After being tipped by many for a return to the glory days, Auckland now find themselves in real need of a positive outcome after that upset in the first round against Southern. There is surely too much quality in the ranks for that defeat to turn into a wider slump but Auckland may have hoped for an easier opponent to get back on track against than Capital, last year’s runners-up. Coach Emma Evans and her side were able to sit back and observe the action last weekend with the bye and will be looking to use that extra preparation time to their advantage.


Gemma Lewis (Auckland coach): “They’re going to be a dangerous opponent because they made the final last year and, if anything, have strengthened their squad. So we’re not taking them lightly by any means but, to be honest, we’re more focused on our playing style and what we’re trying to improve on.”

Emma Evans (Capital coach): “Having the bye in the first week worked well for us because we got that extra week to prepare and watch footage of the other teams. Auckland’s result against Southern has proven how close the league will be this year and it makes it exciting. It will be challenging as a coach going up against a team that will have a bit of anger after losing in the first round.”


Auckland coach Gemma Lewis

Capital coach Emma Evans

BYE – Canterbury United Pride

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