Netball Scoop – Suncorp Super Netball – Round 2, 2020
Adelaide Thunderbirds 59 beat GIANTS Netball 51 (14-19, 19-8, 12-12, 14-12)
Melbourne Vixens 78 beat Queensland Firebirds 50 (16-13, 22-8, 19-11, 21-18)
Sunshine Coast Lightning 51 beat Collingwood Magpies 47 (10-11, 11-13, 16-19, 14-14)
NSW Swifts 73 beat West Coast Fever 72 (18-20, 15-21, 27-11, 13-20)
LADDER AFTER ROUND TWO
Position Points Percentage
1 . Vixens . 8 . 138.24
2 . Lightning . 8 . 123.16
3 . Swifts . 8 . 102.26
4 . Fever . 4 . 108.15
5 . Thunderbirds . 4 . 96.8
6 . GIANTS . 0 . 91.8
7 . Magpies . 0 . 86.84
8 . Firebirds . 0 . 68.06
Hannah Petty (Thunderbirds) – didn’t start, non-covid-19 medical issue
Steph Wood (Lightning) – knee, but returned to court for second half
Gabi Simpson (Queensland) – thigh heavily strapped during match
Courtney Bruce (Fever) – didn’t start, lower back injury
Maddy Turner (Swifts) – didn’t start, ankle
Shannon Eagland (Fever) – didn’t start, calf injury
ROOKIE OF THE ROUND
There were a number of breakout performances for rookies this weekend, but it has to go to Georgie Horjus this week who played a significant role in their milestone win over the Giants. Horjus was accurate from all over the circle throughout the game and had the ball on a string to Potgieter.
Rudi Ellis was also impressive in her on court cameos, managing two gains for the game against an impressive Vixens attack line.
Nyah Allen, who only made an appearance for the Magpies in the fourth quarter, is sure to be one to watch out for. Her impressive long range shooting drew the Magpies back within range in the final quarter. This coupled with her general attacking nous and feeding ability to Shimona Nelson means we should expect to see more big things from the 18-year old.
PLAY OF THE ROUND
While the Vixens in general are playing like an extremely well-conditioned team, the play of the round must go to Liz Watson who was delivering exceptionally accurate shoulder passes throughout the game. One of these moments can be seen here, but they were certainly not isolated occurrences.
Coming in a close second was the third quarter exhibition put on by Swifts star Sophie Garbin. Garbin shot 21 goals from 23 attempts in the third term. This was key to the Swifts being able to claw back the lead and switch the game to their advantage.
TEAM OF THE ROUND
The Melbourne Vixens have stamped their authority on the competition in 2020 with a huge win over the Queensland Firebirds. The Vixens never looked to be missing a beat and continued to push the downcast Firebirds to the very end. Their ability to press on even when they were leading by 20 goals is testament to the belief within the group. Teams can expect midcourt dynamos Liz Watson and Kate Moloney to be well-rested for the short turnaround this week, with both spending some time on the bench thanks to the Vixens’ commanding lead.
Liz Watson (Vixens) was her sensational self, recording 22 goal assists for the three quarters she played. She also had only two turnovers to her name, despite the high volume of ball she had.
Georgie Horjus was impressive in goals for the Thunderbirds, but her feeding to Lenize Potgieter was also on point. Horjus appeared to have the ball on a string with her feeding into the circle leading to a goal 84% of the time.
The Vixens were able to limit turnovers to just 11 in their victory over the Firebirds. With the next closest team on 17, the Vixens look a danger for any team this season.
TALKING POINTS OF THE ROUND
The supershot has brought some interesting tactics to the game and they’re not always effective. The Firebirds desperately needed to use the supershot period to catch up. What resulted was a litany of missed shots and turnovers. The Firebirds attempted 16 supershots for the game and landed just five. Similarly, the Giants struggled to find accuracy despite having two of the better known long shooters in their team in Kiera Austin and Jo Harten. The Giants ended up landing just 35% of their supershot attempts.
Compare this to the Lightning’s victory over the Magpies where up until three-quarter time, there was only one successful supershot. The Lightning were without Steph Wood for much of the first half and even after she returned, did not record any supershots for the game. Yet this approach made sense because of the lead built through the third quarter, meaning they just needed to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
For the love of netball
Many players in the SSN are so glad to be on court after a long preseason that they just can’t help but smile while on court. Laura Langman (Lightning) just couldn’t help grinning throughout her game. Asked about it on the broadcast after the game, Langman was quick to praise the play of her own teammates and the Brownes in the midcourt for the Magpies.
Jhaniele Fowler (Fever) was also clearly enjoying her time on court, at least in the first half.
MATCH OF THE ROUND
The last match of the round between Swifts and Fever was an absolute cracker, with the NSW team hanging on for a narrow win. Despite the absence of their skipper, Fever jumped out of the blocks, and were leading comfortably at half time, 41-33. Sophie Garbin entered the fray and produced one of the finest individual fifteen minutes in recent memory. She nailed 21 goals, helping the Swifts to a 27 – 11 third quarter effort. Fever turned the tide in the fourth, with Jhaniele Fowler landing three two-pointers. Despite a 20-13 final term, the Fever couldn’t quite close out the game.
See below for match report.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
STAND OUT STATISTICS
Liz Watson (Vixens) – 21 (three quarters on court)
Georgie Horjus (Thunderbirds) – 21
Shamera Sterling (Thunderbirds) – 9 (1 intercept, 3 deflections with gain, 5 rebounds)
Sam Poolman (Giants) – 7 (2 intercepts, 2 deflections with gain, 3 rebounds)
Jodi Ann Ward (Magpies) – 7 (3 intercepts, 2 deflections with gain, 2 rebounds)
Overall shooting stats
Lenize Potgieter (Thunderbirds) 43/45 95.6% (incl. 1/1 in supershot zone)
Jhaniele Fowler (Fever) 53/58 91.4% (incl. 4/7 in supershot zone)
Caitlin Thwaites (Vixens) – 6/10
Jo Harten (Giants) – 6/13
Tegan Philip (Vixens) – 4/4
Magpies – 25
Firebirds – 24
GIANTS – 23
Lightning – 23
Thunderbirds – 21
Fever – 20
Swifts – 17
Vixens – 11
Adelaide Thunderbirds 59 defeated GIANTS Netball 51
By Kate Cornish
In round 2 against the GIANTS the Adelaide Thunderbirds were a team possessed. They were in and amongst it in their round one game against the West Coast Fever, but could not maintain the level of intensity required for a four quarter performance. Learning that lesson from last week, they did not make the same mistake against the GIANTS, who are now winless after two rounds. It marks the first ever win for the Thunderbirds against the GIANTS in Suncorp Super Netball.
The attacking combination of the Thunderbirds was absolutely superb and Chelsea Pitman was on song. In the absence of co-captain Hannah Petty, Pitman not only held the fort but led by example. The combination with new talent Georgie Horjus was beautiful to watch. Both players are blessed with netball smarts and they looked like they had been playing together for years. Shamera Sterling, goal keeper for the Thunderbirds turned up to play this week and she was instrumental in the defence end with nine gains. Her inspired energy helped to keep the momentum going for her team as they looked to reward her efforts.
GIANTS captain Jo Harten tried all the tricks in the books to get her team going after a slow start, and by the end of the first quarter, they had not only played themselves back into the game but had taken a four point lead at the break. The tactic of leaving Caitlin Bassett on in goal shooter during the 5-minute super-shot period had paid off, Harten appeared comfortable and Keira Austin was settled at wing attack
WHAT needs improvement?
The first quarter was the highlight of the game for the GIANTS who really had the wheels fall off in the second quarter losing it by nine goals. This turned out to be too big a deficit to draw back, even with the supershot in play. Credit must go to the Thunderbirds defenders who caused the hesitation on the pass into Bassett from the second quarter onwards.
WHERE was it won?
This game was won after a superb and dominant second quarter from the Thunderbirds. They were disciplined conceding only eight penalties compared to the GIANTS’ 16. In a much too common storyline, the GIANTS lost focus for part of the quarter and it was just what the Thunderbirds needed to put their foot down.
It would be remiss not to mention the high-quality efforts of Kate Shimmin in goal defence for the Thunderbirds. Her experience and natural netball smarts were matched by her relentless attack on the ball.
WHERE was it lost?
The GIANTS struggled for consistency in the game. There was a fair amount of movement in their shooting line up with Austin frequently coming forward into goal attack and in this game, moving Maddie Hay to wing attack. It may not seem like a huge change, but it could be one of the reasons for the lack of consistency and focus. Jamie-Lee Price had an out of character game, quiet by her standards and with five general play turnovers and two bad passes, an audible exchange could be heard between Harten and Price where the captain clearly told her to ‘get your head in the game’.
WHEN was the game won and lost?
The Thunderbirds wanted this game more, and their scrappy nature was the reason they were able to secure this win. The super-shots were not a feature of the fourth quarter for either team, and though the GIANTS did try to close the gap with five attempts, in the final 15 they only managed to sink one.
HOW did she do that?
The MVP of the match was Kate Shimmin, and rightly so. Not only was she determined in defence and instrumental in fast transition down court, she also managed one of the hardest feats to accomplish on a netball court – the rejection of a shot at goal.
MVP Kate Shimmin – Thunderbirds
Melbourne Vixens 78 defeated Queensland Firebirds 50
By Jane Edwards
Liz Watson cleaned up her nine turnovers from last week to contribute 35 feeds, 28 with an attempt, and 22 goal assists with only two turnovers, taking out the player of the match.
Shared responsibility for goal shooting. The VIxens’ shooting statistics lead the way for the new netball order. Thwaites scored 19 from 27, Kumwenda 23/26 and Philip 23/27. Even more ominously, each scored from two-point shots: Kumwenda sank three from five attempts, Philip four from four and Thwaites six from ten. In contrast, Aiken scored 35 of the Firebirds’ 50 goals. No other team so far has demonstrated such an even spread of scoring during conventional time and supershot periods among their shooting options.
WHAT needs improvement?
The Firebirds are struggling to get their midcourt functioning effectively. Macy Gardner had the best performance with six goal assists at WA in the final quarter, and Mahalia Cassidy had four in the first quarter, but there was a lack of consistency in substitutions and player combinations between C, WA and GA which must have been disruptive for young players.
WHERE was it won?
General court play: the Vixens hardly need to think what to do next. The timing of alternative leads and the location of teammates backing up enables the Vixens team to move the ball at speed, but with a calm sense of purpose.
WHERE was it lost?
The Queensland team’s defence end was so lacking in inspiration that Captain Gabi Simpson was swung into GD to run with Tegan Philip for the third quarter power play period. Any pre-game strategies went out the window, with precision balls delivered to the moving Vixens shooters with a dazzling array of options.
WHEN was the game won and lost?
The first quarter was even, with the Vixens establishing a three-goal break only in the last minute of the power play. The Vixens built steadily to a 10 goal lead 8 minutes into the second quarter, and the Firebirds had no credible approaches to breaking it down for the rest of the game.
HOW did she do that?!
Closely-tagged by Simpson, fired up for an inexplicable run at GD in the third quarter power play, Tegan Philip took off for a trademark lead down the middle of the goal third. Quick footwork had her dropping back unmarked to the goal post, leaving Simpson grasping desperately to intercept a pass that never came at the top of the circle.
MVP Liz Watson – Vixens
Sunshine Coast Lightning v Collingwood Magpies
By Jenny Sinclair
WHO dominated? While Lightning produced another strong team performance, it was hard to go past Laura Langman, who won MVP for her efforts. Langman had a busy 15 goal assists, 30 feeds, two intercepts and two deflections. But it was her connection with the shooting circle that was critical to the Lightning’s success, nailing feeds that connected with her shooters almost directly under the post.
- A strong through court defensive effort saw six players pulling in intercepts. The Magpies were given few easy balls, and inevitably errors resulted.
- The Lightning are masterly at keeping their penalties low, and once again didn’t disappoint in this game. With a tally of just 34, almost half of the Magpies 65, they were able to stay in the play, and it contributed to their win.
- The connection with Shimona Nelson. After the Jamaican spent almost two and a half weeks in complete isolation, the interplay between Nelson and her teammates could have been justifiably rusty. But for the most part, she was fed superbly by her attackers, and rewarded them by shooting 32 goals from 38 attempts.
- Jodi-Ann Ward has been an invaluable pick up for the Pies. She swung between goal defence and wing defence, and has the ability to either mark her player, or swing off to hunt the ball. Despite being a new addition to the team, she looks completely at home in the defensive set up.
WHAT needs improvement
Lightning – need to find a way to improve their slow starts. As per last week they allowed their opposition to get the jump on them; in this case Collingwood leapt out to an early lead. While they’ve been able to close out games, the Lightning’s inability to get their head in the game from the opening whistle could be costly.
Magpies – While the Magpies had only two more turnovers than the Lightning, they came at critical times in the game. Madi Browne was their worst offender on seven, perhaps understandable given that it’s been almost one a half years since she’s been on court. She’s their most damaging midcourter, particularly feeding the circle, so it’s an area that needs to be tidied up quickly.
Shooting accuracy was also a concern for the Magpies, who were sitting on just 64% accuracy in the first and third quarters. While Allen’s 100% in the fourth helped their percentage to look more respectable, it is an area of concern.
WHERE was it won
It was the experience and wise heads at the Lightning that won the day, confident in their ability to chase down a margin without panicking. And while Cara Koenen hasn’t been on court as long as many of her teammates, she rarely looks flustered. Her 38 goals at 84% was significant in the win.
WHERE was it lost?
It’s understandable in a team featuring so many young players, the Browne sisters returning from injury, and the need to keep players fresh, but Collingwood had almost too many rotations. With 37 positional changes to the Lightning’s 14, connections were shaky at times resulting in some unnecessary errors.
WHEN was the game won and lost?
The Magpies looked to be well in control in the early stages of the third quarter. But two attacking turnovers hurt, after which Phumza Maweni inflicted more pain. In a few short minutes she pulled off three deflections, one rebound and forced a held ball on Gabi Sinclair. Lightning piled on a 16 to 9 third quarter, completing a seven goal turnaround.
HOW did she do that?
Trailing the Lightning, and with accuracy an issue, Collingwood injected Nyah Allen into the game at goal attack in the fourth quarter. Debuting just last week, the youngster could have succumbed to nerves, but showed a cool head and hands to slot six goals at 100% accuracy, all of them from range.
MVP: Laura Langman
NSW Swifts v West Coast Fever
By Andrew Kennedy
Both teams recorded wins in round one, but in quite different styles – Swifts barely held on against Giants, having given away possession 42 times, while Fever were slick and athletic, handing the ball over only 29 times. Also, the usually classy NSW shooters had not been unconvincing, whereas the West Coast spearhead Jhaniele Fowler, supported brilliantly by centre Verity Charles, had given one of the best individual performances in the whole round. But they would have to face the Sydneysiders minus their intimidating and inspirational captain, Courtney Bruce, who was ruled out with a minor back strain. The game played out in three very different sections, and the third quarter set a new league record for scoring. The teams were level with forty seconds to go, leading to the most dramatic of conclusions.
WHO dominated? Sophie Garbin’s impact in the third quarter was monumental, shooting 21/23 with three rebounds in 15 minutes. However, you can’t deny the brilliance for the full 60 minutes of Jhaniele Fowler, 53/58 including four gutsy super shots, supported strongly by Alice Teague-Neeld and Verity Charles.
WHAT worked? Initially, Fever was able to make changes in the midcourt with no loss of rhythm, turning and delivering feeds at will, irrespective of the fairly strong pressure over the ball from NSW. Swifts’ comeback in the third quarter relied on their intense zone defence and reduced turnovers.
WHAT needs improvement? – Swifts could improve their ball security, their penetration over their attacking transverse line, and also getting their shooters involved and confident earlier in the match. Sam Wallace has been out of sorts in the first two rounds, moving too much. Fever need to maintain their confidence flowing into attack – when they release the ball quickly they are unstoppable.
WHERE was it won? Swifts scored 27 points in the third quarter which was a Suncorp Super Netball record of 25 converted shots for one quarter. If that quarter was removed, Fever would have won by 15.
WHERE was it lost? Olivia Lewis couldn’t adjust to Sophie Garbin’s introduction. But perhaps more salient was that Ingrid Colyer was costly, having thrown 5 intercepted passes and committed 6 turnovers, mostly in the first and last quarters, due to the excellent tracking and height advantage of Sophie Craig in wing defence for Swifts. This is ten more possession losses compared to her performance in round one. It’s worth noting that Jess Anstiss played wing defence and centre and threw away no possession in the entire round two match.
HOW did she do that?! Goal keeper Lewis rejected Sam Wallace’s shot in the second quarter, ran out of court and then scrambled back somehow to keep the ball in play.
MVP Sophie Garbin – Swifts
Tues 11th 5pm Giants v Fever Nissan Telstra TV/Netball Live
Tues 11th 7.30 Firebirds v Magpies Nissan Telstra TV/Netball Live
Wed 12th 5pm Swifts v Thunderbirds USC Telstra TV/Netball Live
Wed 12th 7.30 Vixens v Lightning USC Telstra TV/Netball Live
NETBALL SCOOP PODCAST
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