I have finally been able to log into the new site. Yay! Anyhow, while I agree with many of the criticisms and comments about the Australian team, I would note a few things:
– I think that a number on here are underrating the defence of NZ, particularly Jane Watson. She is a phenomenal player and she tends to build into games and keeps mounting the pressure. I thinks she is getting better each time at playing on Bassett
– Agree with everyone that Langman is more than a once in a generation player and that she is one of the best of all time, both her abilities and attitude are incredible and the value of that to the SF cannot be understated
– Rore is such a force for NZ bringing the ball through court and providing a reliable outlet when the attack breaks down I know Langman is criticised for going back to the transverse line, but they really do keep possession when it matters and I don’t think any of the Australian defenders offer the same relief and reliability on attack
– While I don’t think Australia has a player that stands up like Geitz etc often did, I think that when Australia really started to struggle players like Brazill and Weston did provide some crucial turnover ball and the defensive unit built enough pressure to create an NZ turnover, but it was what happened with that turnover ball on attack that let the side down. Perhaps if Thwaites ever received consistent court time she would be that stand up player!
– I am still quite iffy about Bruce. She has these patches of brilliance in the CC and Quad series, but it is quite inconsistent and seems to dessert her in big moments and big games or where there is a need to consolidate from one game to the next. Perhaps that is asking too much of one player or that our expectations are warped by comparing her to players like Geitz and Layton (and it is crazy to think that Australia had both of them at the same time and the latter spent so much time on the bench or out of position). I’m certainly not writing her off and I think sometimes playing her out at GD could be a good option as others have suggested. I would also liked to have seen Turner take the court when Klau was on.
– I am super impressed with what the SFs have been able to achieve on attack with some fairly underwhelming WA play on the court. I guess that speaks to how well Langman, Eke and Folau have played this series!
– Tippett is great at rebounding and when she plays with Bassett she has an good rebounding option there too. We know she can shoot, why do the Diamonds (presumably this is their directive) have such an aversion to her taking a shot from anywhere that isn’t right under the post?
– I think Australia loses a bit on defence when they play Liz Watson at C (as everyone mentioned she was cooked towards the end of the game) and even though Hadley hasn’t set the world on fire at Diamonds level, I think they missed having her as an option at C. Don’t think JLP is a viable C option at this level yet, but happy to be proved wrong. Also think that Braz has shown herself to be the far better WD option (although I guess in Jan Quad JLP played some excellent WD and had a very low penalty count and has been playing C in the SSN not WD).
And I won’t even start on how confused by LA etc I have been watching this series. Can’t wait to sit down and watch the final game and see what happens next!