Netball Scoop Newsletter – Suncorp Super Netball – Round 11, 2020

Netball Scoop Newsletter – Suncorp Super Netball – Round 11, 2020

By |2020-09-10T10:35:00+10:00September 10th, 2020|Categories: AUS|0 Comments

Netball Scoop – Suncorp Super Netball – Round 11, 2020

 

RESULTS

Melbourne Vixens 62 defeated NSW Swifts 55 (17-17, 16-13, 16-10, 13-15)

West Coast Fever 72 defeated Sunshine Coast Lightning 52 (15-16, 21-14, 15-11, 21-11)

Giants Netball 62 defeated Collingwood Magpies 58 (9-13, 18-13, 19-16, 16-16)

Queensland Firebirds 61 defeated Adelaide Thunderbirds 59 (17-11, 18-17, 11-14, 15-17)

 

LADDER AFTER ROUND ELEVEN

 

Position . Points . Percentage

1.Vixens  . 38  . 115.9%

2.Swifts  . 28  . 102.8%

3.Lightning . 28  . 97.4%

4.Fever . 26 . 107.8%

5.Giants  . 18 .  98.4%

6.Firebirds . 18  . 94.0%

7.Thunderbirds . 16  . 97.4%

8.Magpies . 4  . 88.0%

 

INJURIES

 

Emily Mannix (Vixens) sat out a second week with a calf complaint. 

Ingrid Colyer (Fever) will sit out the remainder of the season with a ruptured ACL.

Madi Browne (retirement) and Kelsey Browne (ACL strain) will both miss the rest of the season.

Liz Watson landed awkwardly on her ankle and went off for the final four minutes of the first quarter with Tayla Honey briefly taking her place before Watson returned a few minutes into the second quarter. 

Tegan Philip (Vixens) did not take the court at all for the Vixens and had a heavily strapped knee

Amy Parmenter, who was experiencing calf soreness, didn’t take the court for the Giants.

While Hannah Petty (Thunderbirds) took the court, she was sporting a huge black eye, after a clash with the Magpies Molly Jovic in the preceding round.

 

Liz Watson sent a scare through the Vixens’ camp when she rolled her ankle. After it was retaped, she returned to court. Image Marcela Massey

 

MILESTONE GAMES

Congratulations to Liz Watson, on playing 100 national league games

 

ROOKIE OF THE ROUND

Emma Cosh (Fever) once again excelled in her team’s big win against the Lightning. Cosh played out the full game at wing attack, finishing with 32 feeds, 15 centre passes, and one intercept. She was a steady hand, and strong in defensive as the Fever stifled the Lightning’s passage to goal.

Kelly Altmann (Magpies) was called into the midcourt following the Browne sisters’ season exit, and didn’t disappoint in Round 11. She had 19 centre passes and 32 feeds, although will regret a couple of misplaced passes in the crucial final quarter. They were understandable errors given her limited court time, and she continues to grow with every round. 

There was plenty of young talent on display in the Thunderbirds-Firebirds clash, with Tippah Dwan, Lara Dunkley, Maisie Nankevell and Georgie Horjus all impressing for their sides. 

 

A Karla Pretorius special – the sneaky intercept against Emma Cosh. Image Marcela Massey.

 

PLAY OF THE ROUND

Laura Scherian (Lightning) threw a pass to Wood at the post that simply wasn’t on in the second quarter. She regained the ball with one of the most heroic intercepts of the year, sacrificing her body while launching herself at the ball and being collected by Jess Anstiss.

 

TEAM OF THE ROUND

Fever take the points this week after their 20 goal demolition of the Lightning. Proving that their 24 goal win against the same team in Round 8 was no fluke, the Fever were ruthless in dispatching their rivals. With defensive strength all over court, the Fever had an exceptional 20 gains that were gathered right through the court. Verity Charles was a deserved MVP, but all players who took the court contributed in both attack and defence. 

 

Courtney Bruce flies over Steph Wood’s shot.Image Marcela Massey.

 

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

The Lightning are known for their low penalty count, sitting well below most other teams. So  it was somewhat of a surprise to see them cough up 51 against the Fever, who gave away just 42. They blew out across the game, with 7, 10, 12 and then 22 in the respective quarters. Annika Lee-Jones was one of the chief offenders, with 11 in the fourth quarter, compared to Phumza Maweni’s 10 across the preceding three quarters. 

The Vixens had a standout round finishing with the fewest turnovers of any team this week with 16. The Firebirds also shone in this department with 17 including just a single turnover in the final quarter. 

 

TALKING POINT OF THE ROUND

The home screen of the Netball Live app shows the crowd at the Perth Arena in the sold-out 2018 grand final. It’s a reminder of what pre-Covid netball looks like, and for Western Australian fans, a bitter nudge about what the league has missed by not having a hub in Perth, where the ability to include a crowd is almost back to normal. 

The Melbourne Vixens have locked in their finals spot sitting ten points ahead of second, and it’s been built on consolidating team structures out on court with minimal player rotations. Yet it is possibly coming at an expense at the business end of the season, with some niggles starting to have an impact. Em Mannix has missed the last two rounds with a calf strain, Tegan Phillip didn’t take the court this round with a heavily strapped knee, while Liz Watson – who tweaked an ankle – was restrapped and sent back on court. While there is some relief in sight with a week’s break between rounds 12 and 13, and 13 and 14, it will be fascinating to see if the Vixens strategy pays off, or if the player load proves fatal in the finals.  

Magpies’ Nat Medhurst has called time on her illustrious career. In 235 games at national league level, Medhurst scored 4,415 goals, in the Commonwealth Bank Trophy, the ANZ Championship and Suncorp Super Netball. She represented Adelaide Thunderbirds, Queensland Firebirds, West Coast Fever and Collingwood Magpies. Congratulations on a brilliant career, Nat.

 

A Swifts’ game isn’t complete unless Maddy Proud has hit the deck. Image Marcela Massey

 

TWEET OF THE WEEK

 

 

 

STAND OUT STATISTICS

 

INDIVIDUAL

 

Gains

Courtney Bruce (Fever) – 11 (4 intercepts, 6 deflections with a gain, 1 rebound)

Geva Mentor (Magpies) – 7 (4 intercepts, 2 deflections with a gain, 2 rebounds)

Sam Poolman (GIANTS) – 7 (4 intercepts, 2 deflections with a gain, 1 rebound)

 

Goal Assists 

Liz Watson (Vixens) – 26 

Verity Charles (Fever) – 23 

Emma Cosh (Fever) – 22 

Maisie Nankivell (Thunderbirds) – 22 

 

Turnovers

Liz Watson (Vixens) – 9 

Jamie-Lee Price (Giants) – 8

Steph Wood (Lightning) – 8 

 

Centre Pass Receives 

Nat Haythornthwaite (Swifts) – 26 

Lara Dunkley (Firebirds) – 24 

Laura Scherian (Lightning) – 22

Liz Watson (Vixens) – 22 

Steph Wood (Lightning) – 22 

 

Penalties

Jodi Ann Ward (Magpies) – 21

Kim Jenner (Firebirds) – 20  

Sarah Klau (Swifts) – 20 

 

TEAM 

Fever (68/78 87%, 4 super shots, 20 gains, 9 intercepts, 8 rebounds, 22 pickups, 42 penalties, 22 turnovers)

 

MATCHES 

 

Melbourne Vixens 62 defeated NSW Swifts 55 

By Kate Cornish

WHO dominated?

Just as she did the last time these teams played in round eight, Mwai Kumwenda was a stand out for the Vixens in this game. Her opponent in goal keeper, Sarah Klau started well and was only a fingertip away on a number of occasions to many balls (even managing seven deflections during the game) but Kumwenda stepped up her intensity as the game went on and in the end was dominant over Klau who had no answers for the unpredictable shooter. She shot at 94% for the game and took three crucial rebounds and the same number of pick-ups. There is plenty to add to the highlight reel for Kumwenda after this dominant performance.

For the first time this season Caitlin Thwaites played a full 60 minutes at goal attack out in front of Kumwenda and while for a few minutes in the third quarter she looked like she hoped coach Simone McKinnis would let her have a breather on the bench, she rolled up her sleeves and got back to work. It was also a milestone match for Thwaites as she equalled Sharelle McMahon’s tally of 227 national league games. Thwaites shot 11 goals for her team, including two supershots. Her work out the front was strong with 18 goal assists and the ability of Thwaites in goal attack in season 2020 has netball fans buzzing and asking whether Thwaites has called time on her international career too soon. 

While she has had a relatively slow start to the season after coming back from an ACL last season, Maddy Proud is warming up nicely for the Swifts. She may not hit her full stride by the season’s end, but it is exciting to see glimpses of the form she had created in 2019 before her injury. Though on the losing side, she was great for the Swifts and 88.5 Nissan Net Points tell the story of a player who worked hard. Proud had 35 feeds to her shooters as she swung between wing attack and centre and picked up four gains throughout the game.

WHAT worked?

From the first centre pass the Vixens full court defence was smothering and while the Swifts managed to stay in touch for two quarters, pressure from Kate Eddy in wing defence, Jo Weston in goal defence and Kadie-Ann Dehaney in goal keeper was simply too much for the Swifts to withstand. There was no easy route to their circle and the Swifts shooting combination of Helen Housby and Sam Wallace were under pressure from the start. 

The Swifts never looked comfortable in attack and had to play the ball around on many occasions allowing Dehaney a chance to attack the ball. In for the injured Emily Mannix, Dehaney did not miss a beat with four intercepts and three deflections, with her and Weston proving a lethal combination for the Vixens. In the end it was the unrelenting pressure from the Vixens that broke the game open. They forced the Swifts into rushed play and after the 40 minute mark they were struggling for answers. 

Eddy, an ex-Swift, has slotted into the Vixens backline with ease; not only does she provide good height in wing defence but her understanding of Weston’s game looks like a combination that has been years in the making. Given this is their first year working together on court full time, teams should be trying to find ways to combat the natural connection they have formed.

WHAT needs improvement?

The Swifts will need to go back to camp and ask some tough questions of themselves. At the start of both the second and the third quarters they started strongly and were able to bring the score line back to level. But they could not maintain any dominance, with the Vixens able to step up a gear each time and the Swifts were not able to match them. The credit lies in the defensive work done by the Vixens that forced the Swifts to play a style that did not suit them. They are usually a team who look like they have so much time with the ball with a number of options, but with the Vixens covering lead after lead and fatigue setting in, usually slick connections went missing and rushed passes were being thrown.

We have not seen the best of the Swifts this year and they have now lost to the Vixens twice. With the added disappointment of back-to-back losses, some soul-searching is needed from the reigning premiers if they are to muster the confidence and self-belief that saw them shine in 2019.

WHERE was it won?

At the 40 minute mark the game became quite willing. Tired bodies were being thrown at challenges for the ball and for five minutes players were strewn across the boards. While the Swifts were getting hand to ball courtesy of some good defence by Maddy Turner, they simply couldn’t convert.. This was the turning point in the game, the Swifts threw all they had at the Vixens for that five-minute period and came up short, that was their moment and they were unable to make it count. The Vixens on the other hand stayed calm and in control as they had been for the whole match and, sensing the fatigue in their opponents, went on to dominate the ‘premiership quarter’. 

HOW did she do that?!

Liz Watson sent a scare through her camp at the back end of the first quarter when she went off with an ankle injury. While she was off the court, the Swifts managed to level the scores and looked to mount a revival, but such is her presence on court, the moment Watson returned, so did the calmness and structure of the attacking line up. She may have played on in pain, but she is a tough competitor and her seven minutes from court did not distract her from the job at hand when she returned. The good news is that her injury did not seem to impact her performance and she went on to deliver 40 feeds to her shooters, the next closest was her co-captain Kate Moloney with 20. A fit Liz Watson will be key to the Vixens premiership dreams in 2020.

MVP – Mwai Kumwenda (Vixens)

 

Kate Moloney rarely looks flustered. Image Marcela Massey

 

Sophie Garbin, wearing her uniform and an elbow in the side. Image Marcela Massey

 

Mwai Kumwenda and Sarah Klau compete for the ball. Image Marcela Massey

 

West Coast Fever 72 defeated Sunshine Coast Lightning 52

By Ian Harkin

In a battle of third versus fourth, it was the fourth placed West Coast Fever that proved far too good for Sunshine Coast Lightning. Fever has now won by a combined 44 goals in their two clashes this year and in the process, they’ve announced themselves as the form team of the competition at the moment.

WHO dominated?

In truth, the entire Fever team dominated. There was not a single weak link; there was not a single player who didn’t get the better of their direct opponent. Centre Verity Charles was simply everywhere in this match. She controlled the attack beautifully with 23 goal assists, but she also contributed greatly in defence. Alongside her, Jess Anstiss had a tremendous game at wing defence. It was her constant pressure that allowed the circle defenders to do their jobs so well.  

English defender Stacey Francis had one of her best games in Fever colours. A constant menace inside and outside the circle, she put doubt in the Lightning feeders’ minds, forcing them into error, and she was often on hand to pick up the scraps. Francis’s strong game at goal defence allowed captain and goal keeper Courtney Bruce to go hunting. And hunt she did, regularly picking off intercepts and deflections. 

It is a sign of how well she has played this year that with 55/58, this was actually one of Jhaniele Fowler’s quieter games. Lightning goal keeper Phumza Maweni did about as good a job as a defender can reasonably expect to on Fowler, but she still found a way. Fowler was supported by goal attack Alice Teague-Neeld who remarkably outscored her in the final quarter. Teague-Neeld is having a fine season, and her form is a huge step up from what she put out in 2019. 

WHAT worked?

Fever coach Stacey Marinkovich didn’t make a single change to her lineup throughout the 60 minutes. Not one. With just three rounds to go, it’s clear she has now settled on her best seven, and that seven includes Emma Cosh at wing attack. Cosh, who was seemingly brought into the squad initially as a reserve shooter, has instead found herself replacing injured midcourter Ingrid Colyer. She has just gone about her job with little fuss and has fitted in almost seamlessly. In this match, she had 22 assists, and played a pivotal role. 

WHAT needs improvement? 

Lightning’s attack has been spluttering for much of the season. Their average score of just 57 goals per game is one of the lowest in the competition. On several occasions this hasn’t mattered as their strong defence has made up for it. But against the prolific Fever side (68 goals per game), they’ve been found wanting on two occasions now. Normally, a precise, low error-rate team, Lightning committed 29 turnovers in this match. Steph Wood alone was responsible for eight of those. At times there was great hesitancy on the part of the feeders and a lack of trust in simply letting the ball go to their shooters. This has been evident in some earlier matches too. 

WHERE was it won?

It was the tough and tight marking defence of Fever’s back four that laid the platform for this big win. Maintaining constant pressure on every Lightning possession, Charles, Anstiss, Francis and Bruce combined for a total of 19 possession gains, 11 of those to Bruce. And as an example of how desperate they were, they also tallied 17 pickups, with eight of those going to Francis. With Fever picking up so much ball, it made the job at the attack end that much easier. In the last quarter, it was almost like a training run as Fever pounced on error after error from Lightning and quickly took the ball down court to convert. 

WHERE was it lost?

The Lightning team is just struggling to find any cohesion at the moment. They’re not looking like the slick professional outfit of previous seasons. Fever has now exposed them badly twice. And just how badly is demonstrated in the fact that Lightning lost both the penalty and turnover count in this match, a very rare thing for them. All of the senior players need to stand up now, as time is running out to get the team back on track. As has been the case in some recent matches, Laura Langman was Lightning’s best player, but she didn’t get a lot of support. It was surprising when she was replaced at three quarter time and spent the last fifteen minutes in the unfamiliar role of bench warmer. 

WHEN was the game won and lost? 

For a short period at the end of the first quarter, Lightning excited the vocal Sunshine Coast crowd when they went on a 9-1 run to take the lead. It was a lead they kept until the five minute mark in the second quarter. From that point on, Fever slowly but surely asserted their superiority and dominated the rest of the match. Winning the second quarter by seven and the third quarter by four, Fever held a ten goal lead at the last change and looked firmly in control, especially when Laura Langman was seen going to the bench. The final quarter domination was just the extra icing on the cake for Fever. 

HOW did she do that?!

Lightning shooter Cara Koenen had a tough physical battle with Fever captain Courtney Bruce. Although Bruce had the better of the match up, Koenen was far from disgraced. In the first quarter, Koenen kept Bruce away from the post, then a high lob pass was thrown into the space she left. She doubled back and leapt high to take the pass brilliantly under heavy pressure from Bruce. When Koenen landed, she unfortunately couldn’t stop her head colliding with the ball and post. A little the worse for wear, she nonetheless held onto the ball and calmly sank the goal. 

MVP: Verity Charles (Fever)  

 

Cara Koenen is going from strength to strength at goal shooter. Image Marcela Massey.

 

Jhaniele Fowler has added movement to her impressive aerial game, although we’re not sure where she is going here. Image Marcela Massey.

 

Round 11 featured some heavy collisions. Jess Anstiss and Steph Wood saw the funny side of this one. Image Marcela Massey.

 

Giants Netball 62 defeated Collingwood Magpies 58

By Andrew Kennedy

Desperate to keep their season alive, Giant pushed for just enough breathing space in round 11 to stay mathematically in contention for finals. The Magpies continued their forgettable injury-marred year. Every time they showed promising form it would always be qualified with a “but”. The Sydneysiders did just barely enough in a punishing game to get their fourth win.

WHO dominated? 

Geva Mentor was inspirational in a losing team.. She played her traditional brand of defence, putting in the hard yards in the first half and then taking possession at will in the second. She was brilliant at covering the backspace and providing deflections for her partner Jodi Ann Ward to pick up. Ironically, her opposing player for 23 minutes in the second half, Caitlin Bassett, was also a star, hitting 19/20 1-point shots and giving away no possession. 

WHAT worked? 

Neither team had prolonged periods of ascendancy – they could string together three to five goals, but their opponents always fought back.

For Giants, Kristiana Manu’a at wing defence for Giants was an intimidating tall presence, which lended unpredictability to the match up with Jovic and Altmann, in the absence of injured Amy Parmenter. Jo Harten was very secure with the ball, setting up play for 60 minutes but only losing possession twice.

Magpies would take some courage from the performance of their youngsters in attack. When Shimona Nelson provided unsure and non-specific holds, it was Jovic, Altmann, and Sinclair that orchestrated a classic Australian structure and retained possession, in the absence of injured stars the Browne sisters.

WHAT needs improvement? 

Jodi Ann Ward at goal defence for Magpies was marvellous in disrupting play and taking clean balls. She needs to think about when to contest, as she finished with 17 contacts, far too many to stay competitive. In her first season in Australia, there is a steep learning curve for picking the right angles. Also, Ward over-commits her balance to a three foot defence – this allows the goal attack to get around too easily, and she should keep her feet moving. 

For Giants, the forward line was often very static, and relied on the passer to be creative. This didn’t work a lot of the time, and in particular Harten was stuck looking for a hint of movement, then passing to a risky option, rather than having a moving or rotating option or resetting. Additionally, Price was the Achilles heel, dishing off the ball far too much, with 3 intercepted pases and 8 turnvoers, in an uncharacteristically dodgy performance in attack. 

WHERE was it won? 

Bringing Bassett back onto court in the third quarter was a decisive move –  she planted her feet and hauled in every ball presented. In only 23 minutes she scored 30% of the team goals, but it wasn’t just the score, it was the confidence to progress to the goal circle that made her valuable.

WHERE was it lost? 

Magpies are a tenacious team, but it was sad that their midcourt injuries made the difference. Their replacements for Madi and Kelsey Browne were confident and capable, but lacked the flair and vision that made it possible for Collingwood to challenge the top teams. Nelson is still a work in progress, not giving obvious angles on her holds. And it was strange to see Ryde at goal shooter at all, given she provides little jump or creativity, when the team needed to urgently catch up.

WHEN was the game won and lost?

The match was a true arm-wrestle, and there was no decisive play to draw a commanding lead.. If anything, it was an inverse play, where Magpies had false hope due to the slack shooting of Giants in quarter one. Hitting zero from five super shots, it meant that Collingwood were competitive for the whole match. Giants need to demoralise with a large number of early supershots, and put away teams decisively earlier. 

HOW did she do that?! 

Jamie-Lee Price nailed a wonderful intercept flying in the air over the sideline late in the first quarter, and  passed smartly on to her teammate. 

MVP: Jo Harten (Giants)

 

Kadie-Ann Dehaney (Vixens) has been impressive in Em Mannix’s absence. Image Marcela Massey

 

Queensland Firebirds 61 defeated Adelaide Thunderbirds 59

By Katrina Nissen 

 A strong first quarter saw the Queensland Firebirds get away with a lucky win over a resurgent Adelaide Thunderbirds. 

 WHO dominated?

Georgie Horjus was in everything and really kept the Thunderbirds in touch in the first half. She was solid on the Super Shot, but more importantly, her strong drives into the circle, and second and third phase play helped set the pace for the fight back.

For the Firebirds, Tippah Dwan had another strong performance. She shot 15/21, and along with her 28 feeds and 18 centre pass receives, chimed in with 3 intercepts. Her ability to contribute to defence is every team’s dream. 

WHAT worked?

In the third quarter the Thunderbirds did a fantastic job of blocking out the Firebirds goal third. They closed all the gaps where the Firebirds would usually have carved up the middle, forcing them wide which allowed Shamera Sterling to take a crack at the intercept.

 The irregular pacing by the Firebirds – knowing when to slow and when to fly through the court – worked a treat in keeping the Thunderbirds guessing. The Firebirds brand of first phase pressure was smothering and forced the Thunderbirds into errors early in the match resulting in 10 conceded turnovers in the first quarter. 

WHAT needs improvement?

Those closing steps onto the ball were missing at times, particularly in the first quarter, for the Thunderbirds. But whatever was said by coach Tania Obst during the break had them come out hungry. In general, they tidied up the 1%’s for the remainder of the match which made a big difference. 

 The Firebirds usually perfectly placed passes were missing in the backend of the match. In the third quarter they doubled their first half turnovers by forcing balls to where the options were not on. Was it just fatigue or forced errors? 

WHERE was it won 

As we have seen numerous times this season, the Firebirds got off to a blistering start which set them up for the win. But, their next couple of matches are going to be trying, so they will need to look to bring back the consistent 60 minutes of play which saw them topple the NSW Swifts last week, particularly if they hope to make finals.  

WHERE was it lost?

If the Thunderbirds were quicker to adjust their positioning and timing, the result may have been different. If they hope to make finals, they will need to string together stronger quarters and not rely on the Super Shot to keep them in touch. 

WHEN was the game won and lost?

By not utilising the Super Shot, the Firebirds nearly let the Thunderbirds get away with the win. As was seen last week, Tippah Dwan can hit the long shots but a sensational block by Shamera Sterling in the first quarter rattled the youngster. Even in the later stages of the game when she had a clear shot, she opted to dish off Romelda Aiken. 

HOW did she do that?!

Gabi Simpson’s captaincy was sublime today. She called well placed time-outs to reinvigorate her side and keep them calm. She was also solid in defence contributing three intercepts and two deflections. And, she was not costly with the ball in hand. She also sent English Rose, and Thunderbirds’ captain, Chelsea Pitman to the bench. 

Props, and acting awards, also need to be given to Lara Dunkley who cleverly ate-up time, with a ‘tweaked ankle’ in the final few seconds of the match. 

MVP: Kim Jenner (Firebirds)

 

**Netball Scoop did not have a photographer at the Thunderbirds v Firebirds game. So, enjoy this snaps of the Lightning’s creative defensive tactics.

Phumza Maweni and Karla Pretorius find new and interesting ways to defend the shot. The leg pull…..Image Marcela Massey.

 

And the launch. Image Marcela Massey.

 

WHAT’S NEXT 

Saturday 12 September 1pm  Fever v Swifts  Nissan Arena  Channel 9 / Netball Live

Saturday 12 September 3pm  Magpies v Vixens  Nissan Arena  Channel 9 / Netball Live

Sunday 13 September 1pm  Lightning v Firebirds  USC Stadium Channel 9 / Netball Live 

Sunday 13 September 3pm  Thunderbirds v Giants  Priceline Stadium  Telstra TV / Netball Live 

 

NETBALL SCOOP PODCAST

 

Please tune into the Netball Scoop Podcast on Mondays and Thursdays throughout the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball Season. Co-hosts Alexia Mitchell and Phoebe Doyle cover the latest Suncorp Super Netball news, including post-match discussions and analysis, coach and player interviews, and have a special focus on the rookies of the competition. Just like the netball, the episodes are short and sharp – perfect for listeners on the go!

 

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