NS SCOREBOARD – SSN Round 13

NS SCOREBOARD – SSN Round 13

Netball Scoop – Suncorp Super Netball – Round 13, 2021

Contributors: Katrina Nissen, Ian Harkin, Andrew Kennedy, Esther Nelson, Jenny Sinclair

Photographers: Marcela Massey and Simon Leonard

 

RESULTS

Collingwood Magpies 66 defeated Queensland Firebirds 59 (19-13, 15-14, 17-14, 15-18)

Adelaide Thunderbirds 59 defeated Melbourne Vixens 50 (15-13, 14-11,18-12, 12-14)

Sunshine Coast Lightning 64 defeated Giants Netball 63 (16-16, 15-12, 14-16, 15-16, 4-3)

West Coast Fever 75 defeated Collingwood Magpies 55 (20-10, 20-11, 20-19, 15-15)

 

 

INJURIES

Kiera Austin (GIANTS) – ACL (season)

Liz Watson (Vixens) – foot (season)

Ash Unie (Lightning) – ACL (season)

Tara Hinchliffe (Firebirds) – ACL (season)

Jemma MiMi (Firebirds) – upper calf tear (likely to miss Round 14 as well)

Firebirds captain Gabi Simpson only played 20 minutes of their Round 13 match. Simpson has been wearing a compression sock on her left calf for half the season and played this match with one on the other leg as well. Firebirds confirmed on Wednesday morning that Simpson will miss the side’s final match of the 2021 season. 

Steph Wood (Lightning) left the court during the third quarter with a suspected knee injury. Let’s hope it is not as bad as it looked. 

April Brandley (GIANTS) also left the court following an ankle injury.

Ash Brazill (Magpies) sat out this match with a back injury. 

Gabi Sinclair (Magpies) had a distressing and painful dislocation of her right pinky finger as her opponent Kimberley Jenner attempted an intercept. She spent five minutes on the sideline with some tears, traction, relocation and strapping, and finished the game as MVP.

Romelda Aiken (Firebirds) was out of sorts, only on court for 36 minutes, missing relatively easy goals and feeds, due in part to an ankle sprain only two days ago and the very short turnaround between matches due to pandemic rescheduling.

 

Hopefully April Brandley will be right heading into finals. Image Marcela Massey

 

MILESTONES

Round 13 had milestones aplenty with Jo Weston, Steph Wood and Sam Poolman each celebrating their 100th national league match. Kate Eddy also celebrated her 50th national league match. 

Congratulations to all. 

 

Sam Poolman and Steph Wood celebrated 100 game milestones. Image Marcela Massey

 

ROOKIE OF THE ROUND

West Coast Fever’s Sunday Aryang continues to impress by notching up another MVP performance in her side’s emphatic win over Collingwood Magpies. The young defender finished with a game high 7 gains (see breakdown below). But what is most spectacular is that during her full 60 minutes she only notched 5 penalties (4 contacts and 1 obstruction) and conceded zero turnovers! With stats like that, coupled with her strengthening combination with Diamond, Courtney Bruce, we are sure she is on the national selector’s radar. 

 

Sunday Aryang’s athletic ability is just one of a number of reasons why she gives away minimal penalties. Image Marcela Massey

 

PLAY OF THE ROUND

Annie Sargeant and Netball Australia were kind enough to give Netball Scoop a bird’s eye look into selection of the Australian squads. With an announcement of the Commonwealth Games squad due any day now, check out the process of how it all happens in this article by Jenny Sinclair

 

The top four teams to play in the semi-finals have now been decided. What order they finish the season in will be decided when they meet in the last two matches of the regular season. We thought it might be a good time to look at the records of each of those four teams against one another.

Which one of the top four teams has been the most successful when playing other teams from the top four? If you said Fever, you would be wrong. At least to this point.

Sunshine Coast Lightning: 4 wins, 1 loss
West Coast Fever: 3 wins, 2 losses
NSW Swifts: 2 wins, 3 losses
GIANTS Netball: 1 win, 4 losses

While Sunshine Coast were the team in the most danger of being tipped out of the finals race, strangely enough they have also been the most successful against other top four teams. At the other end of the spectrum, GIANTS have had issues beating teams within the top four, and will need to reverse this trend to progress in the finals. 

 

TEAM OF THE ROUND

Sunshine Coast Lightning showed terrific composure to cement their place in the top four with a hard fought extra-time victory over GIANTS Netball. In danger of slipping out of the finals race, they led for much of the game against the GIANTS, until an unfortunate injury to Steph Wood saw them on a down hill slide. They fell behind late in the fourth quarter after GIANTS goal attack Sophie Dwyer hit a series of two point shots, but edged back to force the game into extra time. With Dwyer’s hot hand it appeared that the GIANTS would eke out the win, but an unfortunate attacking penalty to Dwyer saw the Lightning snatch the win in the dying seconds of the match. A crucial captain’s intercept in the fourth quarter also helped to stem the tide.  

 

Celebrating the win – Peace Proscovia and Laura Scherian. Image Marcela Massey

 

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

Adelaide Thunderbirds have really improved their shooting accuracy in recent times. In their past two matches, the Thunderbirds shooters have combined for 118/121 at 97.5%. And in her past four matches, Lenize Potgieter has shot 146/148 at 98.6%.

 

TALKING POINT OF THE ROUND

In Thursday’s Round 13 opener, the Queensland Firebirds hosted the Collingwood Magpies in their inaugural Pride Round. The Firebirds said it was important for them to help show that netball is ‘an inclusive game, a safe space’ where they can celebrate the diversity of the netball community. 

For Magpies midcourter, Ash Brazill thanked the side for holding the first Super Netball Pride Round. She took to social media to share her praise confirming that the match showed that netball is a sport for everyone. 

Well done Queensland Firebirds! We hope this leads to an official Pride Round in future seasons. 

Netball Scoop, and SSN fans the world over, would like to thank the league and Queensland Government for allowing Rounds 13 and 14 to be played, albeit under tight restrictions. While the empty stadiums have an eerie feel to them, the fact that netball was able to continue was a testament to the growing relationships and recognition of the hard work of all netball stakeholders and decision makers. 

 

The matches were played under quarantine restrictions – masks for everyone off court and no crowds.Image Marcela Massey

 

TWEET OF THE WEEK

 

A fave moment of ours too

 

No conspiracy here…😉

STAND OUT STATISTICS

 

INDIVIDUAL

ASSISTS
Kelsey Browne – 22 (vs Firebirds)
Jamie-Lee Price – 22
Kelsey Browne – 21 (vs Fever)
Maisie Nankivell – 21

GAINS
Shamera Sterling – 11 gains including 6 intercepts
Emily Mannix – 7 gains including 5 intercepts

GOALS
Jhaniele Fowler – 62/66 goals at 94%
Shimona Nelson – 49/51 goals at 96% (vs Firebirds)
Lenize Potgieter – 43/43 at 100%

TURNOVERS
Hannah Petty – 9 turnovers
Gretel Bueta – 8 turnovers
Kim Ravaillion – 8 turnovers

PENALTIES
Rudi Ellis – 19 penalties
Amy Parmenter – 13 penalties

 

TEAM 

GAINS
Fever 18 (highest)
Magpies 7 v Fever (Lowest)

SHOOTING %
Thunderbirds 98.3% (best)
Firebirds 74% (worst)

TURNOVERS
Vixens 29 (worst)
Thunderbirds 28
Magpies 18 (best)

PENALTIES
Firebirds 72 (highest)
Fever 40 (lowest)

 

While it’s been a tough season for all, the camaraderie between players is still heartening to see. Image Marcela Massey

 

MATCH REPORTS

 

COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES 66 def QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS 59

By Andrew Kennedy

 

With both teams on five wins for the season, each needed two wins in the final two rounds to have a glimmer of a scratch at finals mix. In round four the Magpies battled through for a 68-65 win against Firebirds, and both had big scalps recently, Magpies over Swifts in round 12 and Firebirds over Lightning in round 11. But there were other factors at play, as both teams only had 48 hours to recover from the last match, a test for their stamina, recovery, and resolve.

It was heartening to see the rainbow bibs on both teams, in recognition of the Super Netball Pride round, which was particularly meaningful for Ash Brazill of Collingwood. Meanwhile it was also surreal to actually have a Brisbane crowd to cheer the teams on, in a season where the public have often been absent, and players can hear the instructions and dismay of their coaches just a bit too easily!

The story of the game was a lack of consistency from both sides, coloured by three injuries to major Queensland players in the past few weeks. Despite a brief cameo by McCollin at goal attack for Magpies when Sinclair had a grotesquely dislocated finger in the second quarter, generally the southerners ran their whole line for 60 minutes. In the end, scrambling changes from Firebirds couldn’t reel back in a nice early 19-13 first quarter lead for Collingwood, and the Victorians won by seven, keeping their season alive for one more match.

WHO dominated? 

In a patchy performance from both teams, the most consistent was the Magpies attacking trio of Sinclair, Browne, and Jovic. Their strong drives forced the Firebirds to be either committed to the wrong lead, or distracted away from their own player. While Nelson is a wonderful target, her play patterns are very simple, she needs the feeder to show her the space and turn her on the take. It was the quick vision to the circle and often brilliant placement that gave Collingwood the edge.

Each of the feeding trio was a reliable threat from circle edge or mid-distance, giving almost equal numbers of goal assists, and ditching only 12 turnovers from centre to goal attack compared to their opponents’ 19 in those three positions. Kelsey Browne was a leader in simple but well executed tactics – cut and drive and don’t stop; and fake one way to move the defence, then find the target shooter under the post. Firebirds struggled to contain her, using three different athletes at wing defence for the game.

WHAT worked?   

Specific coaching for each player in Collingwood in defence was a great strength. Brazill, initially chasing the moves of Dunkley, improved in the second half to drive the Firebirds wing attack very wide and disconnect her from the team. Ward was excellent at keeping Bueta and then Dwan as far away from the circle as possible, proving that a smaller player with speed and intent can frustrate and isolate even a marquee goal attack. The Jamaican goal defence got the most intercepts and gains in this round, smartly cutting back to the middle to anticipate rushed passes. And Mentor eliminated Aiken’s normal stance in the centre of the circle, firstly keeping her to the baseline and then allowing her front position but too far out.

Defence for Firebirds was also a feature, with Ellis simply taking front position and not really chasing balls outside the circle. Knowing that Nelson is skittish and not overly aggressive, the Queensland goal keeper used her reading of the game, long arms, and quick steps off the mark to get an equal game high of five gains. A special mention to Dunkley at wing attack for Firebirds, with two deflections with gain, and also an ability to cover the centre pass drive of Brazill for large parts of the match.

Judicious use of the supershot is working well for some teams. Magpies hit 3/4, all through Sinclair and all in the first half, whereas Firebirds didn’t quite have that luxury of power five patience, as they needed to erase a large lead at the end of the game and only hit 3/6 in the last quarter. Even though Sinclair added only 3 more points from those long goals, the power to demoralise the opposition by sinking the shot and pushing out the lead can’t be underestimated.

WHAT needs improvement? 

To be a true title threat, a team needs clinical finishing, and neither team achieved that in round 13. Magpies especially had inexplicably poor feeds at times when they needed to convert a turnover and stamp authority on their lead.

The off night for Aiken due to her ankle injury in round 12 is a signal that Firebirds need more match-hardened exposure of different shooting combinations with their solid midcourt. Once Bueta was moved out of goal attack to the back, Ravaillion struggled when she couldn’t see the leads she expected – in the third quarter she had four turnovers, when the Bueta GS/ Dwan GA combination was used. Ravaillion wasn’t with the Firebirds in 2020 when Dwan played so many minutes, and their connection needs a lot of work.

The woes in attack for Firebirds were most evident in their centre pass conversion, slumping to 61% for the game compared to a nice 78% for Magpies. Firebirds actually had better conversion of turnovers (64%) and of gains (83%) than converting their own centres.

The shooting circle was way under par for Queensland, too. Their 5 supershots at 46% were questionable and in the end quite desperate, and Aiken was costly, missing many very easy shots. The Jamaican shooter collected only seven rebounds out of her 13 misses, far below her usual standards. Bueta did buff the accuracy with 86% over all, but she erased her effectiveness with eight turnovers all up.

WHERE was it won? 

The outcome was completely decided in the power five of the first quarter. Firebirds were leading 10-9, but Magpies had a wonderful run of play with several gains and turnovers converted to supershots, and they went on a 10-3 run. This seven-goal margin was there at the final whistle, and it was achieved with lightning passes and great understanding in the Magpies attack, ditching only three turnovers in the first 15 minutes. The rest of the match was essentially on parity, with short runs by both teams and Firebirds able to get as far back as 11 down, and as close as four goals in the final three minutes thanks to three supershots by Aiken and Bueta. 

WHERE was it lost? 

The game was probably gone for Firebirds before it even started. Injuries to Hinchliffe, Mi Mi, and Aiken over recent rounds will not be used as an excuse by the coach and team, but to have three key experienced athletes either on the bench or totally out of sorts can’t be overlooked. Add to that a struggle for their captain Simpson who was benched, and they did well to keep in the contest without their main leadership for large parts. This will be a key area of analysis for the club in development and recruiting as they have just one encounter left before the long off-season. 

MVP: Gabi Sinclair (Magpies)

Starting lineups:

Firebirds: GS Aiken, GA Bueta, WA Dunkley, C Ravaillion, WD Simpson, GD Jenner, GK Ellis

Magpies: GS Nelson, GA Sinclair, WA Browne, C Jovic, WD Brazill, GD Ward, GK Mentor

 

A strong take from Gretel Bueta under intense pressure. Image: Simon Leonard

 

Gabby Sinclair was solid from mid-to-long range. Image: Simon Leonard

 

Has Kelsey Browne peaked at the right time and done enough for Diamonds selection? Image: Simon Leonard

 


 

ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS 59 def MELBOURNE VIXENS 50 

By Katrina Nissen

 

WHO dominated?   

This was one of Georgie Horjus’ best games of the season. The young goal attack was a playmaker for her side, as she worked effectively over the line and in the circle. She cleverly used the height differential between herself and Jo Weston to her advantage, often using her footwork to get around and duck behind the defender. But ultimately, it was her ability to sweep the front of the circle and confidentially shoot from anywhere that was the difference for the Thunderbirds. 

A special mention also needs to go to Maisie Nankivell, who was quietly steadying for her side for a second consecutive week. The midcourter was a strong presence in attack putting in 30 feeds with 22 goal attempts in three quarters on the court. She was also effective in defence getting a deflection and pickup to her name. 

WHAT worked?   

Early in the match, the Thunderbirds on body defence worked for them. They did just enough to cause hesitation on the feed and were riding their opponents everywhere in attack. This caused many unforced errors from the Vixens as they rushed the ball down court or took too long to place the ball into the circle.

Early in the third quarter, the Vixens were able to open up a bit of space with long, quick and direct plays. Against a side that has ball-winners like Shamera Sterling, Matilda Garrett and Latayna Wilson, they needed not to allow them time to set up in defence. So, by using fakes or fast triangular plays, they created gaps in defence, which allowed several long balls into the goal third or under the post. 

When Ruby Barkmeyer came on for the Vixens in the third quarter, it also created a pace disparity between her and Matilda Garrett. Barkmeyer was able to exploit this to get herself into prime feeding positions inside the circle.  

WHAT needs improvement?

Early in the match, the Thunderbirds were hesitant to put shots up or even into the circle; perhaps they were paying too much respect to the hands over pressure from Weston over Horjus. This saw them work the ball around the circle and cough it up. Eventually, they rid themselves of the caution and began to sink them from all over the circle. They will face similar defenders next week against the Swifts and will need to start the match with confidence if they hope to win the game.

While the Vixens stayed within striking distance during the first half, the wheels fell off for them during the third quarter. Subsequently, their whole disposition also changed. They began playing frustrated netball, which saw their unforced turnovers increase through sloppy hands, misplaced balls, and 1% errors. 

The Vixens need to work on their missed shot conversion. At halftime, it was sitting at 33% but dropped to a disappointing 18% by the end of the match. By comparison, the Thunderbirds missed only one shot for the game and rebounded and converted, for a perfect 100%. 

WHERE was it decided? 

Once the Thunderbirds got comfortable to release the ball into the circle, there was no stopping them. Potgieter sat on the hold in the backspace and allowed Horjus the space to float in the mid-to-long range region. In doing so, they split the defence. It was also assisted by Horjus and Potgieter, both sitting on 100% for much of the game. The duo looked comfortable and in control for most of the match.  

The Thunderbirds also lifted their gain to goal rate in the second half of the match. Early in the match, it was sitting at 33%, but they had 100% goals scored from gains in the third. 

HOW did she do that?!

In an attempt to spark some change for her side, Vixens midcourter Allie Smith deflected a ball away from Maisie Nankivell need her defensive transverse. She then chased the ball over to the sideline and did a clever flick back toward Mwai Kumwenda in the goal third. Unfortunately, Shamera Sterling took the intercept, but it was still an impressive chase down from Smith. 

MVP: Georgie Horjus (Thunderbirds) 

Starting lineups:

Thunderbirds: GS Potgieter, GA Horjus, WA Nankivell, C Petty, WD Wilson, GD Garrett, GK Sterling

Vixens: GS Kumwenda, GA Stanton, WA Mundy, C Moloney, WD Eddy, GD Weston, GK Mannix

 

MVP Georgie Horjus produced near perfect shooting for the match. Image: Marcela Massey

 

Jo Weston and Emily Mannix double-team Lenize Potgeiter, leaving Georgie Horjus front space. Image: Marcela Massey

 

Jo Weston and Kate Eddy both celebrated milestones. Image: Marcela Massey

 


 

SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING 64 def GIANTS NETBALL 63 (After Extra Time)

By Esther Nelson

 

Steph Wood (Lightning) and Sam Poolman (GIANTS) celebrated their 100th national game milestone in this closed with COVID-restrictions match at Nissan arena. Both teams were looking to cement their place in the finals. The GIANTS were coming off a win against the Vixens and the Lightning a one goal loss against the Thunderbirds in round 12.

Previous outings between the two sides have been physical and intense (of their 10 encounters, Lighting has won 8). Today’s match was no different with four overall cautions across the court due to dangerous or unnecessary contacts including by Phumza Maweni (falling in on the shooter) and Amy Parmenter (persistent contact).

There were also a number of injuries with Steph Wood leaving the court towards the end of the third quarter with an ankle injury, leading to Peace Proscovia coming on at GS and  Cara Koenen moving to GA for the Lightning. April Brandley also suffered an ankle injury early in the fourth quarter and was replaced by Kristiana Manu’a, vice-captain of the GIANTS.

Lightning held the lead during most of the match with the GIANTS coming back in patches during the game using the super shot and winning ball, but they never quite stayed ahead of the Lightning. The match went into extra time when GIANTS player, Jo Harten, missed a two-point shot right on the fourth quarter buzzer, leaving the scores locked at 60-60.

In the final minute of extra time, the GIANTS played the ball around trying to get to the shooters in the circle. An offensive contact call against Sophie Dwyer led to a turnover in favour of the Lightning which meant that Proscovia was able to score just before the end of extra time, leading the Lightning to victory. 

WHO dominated?

The game started out evenly at 16 goals each at quarter time. It was a close game with the Lightning winning the second quarter by three goals and the GIANTS winning the third and fourth quarter by one goal. 

The Lightning were more confident in letting the ball go in the final quarter and during extra time compared to the GIANTS.

Laura Scherian had a busy night for Lightning, setting up the circle nicely with 29 feeds and 26 centre pass receives, while also pulling in an intercept. Peace Proscovia was a strong presence under the post, shooting 21/22 in around 20 minutes, while Cara Koenen remained unfazed despite being shifted out of position to goal attack.

It’s incredible watching a player learn their craft on the run, so to speak, and while the attacking end didn’t have the same fluency without Wood on court, Koenen (30/31) proved that she’s also a realistic option at goal attack for the national team. 

WHAT worked?

The Lightning shooting combination was accurate with Proscovia shooting at 95% and Koenen at 97%. Mahalia Cassidy (83.5 NNP) and Laura Scherian (46.5 NNP) seemed to win the battle against Jamie-Lee Price and Maddie Hay in the mid-court.

In the Lightning defence end, Kate Shimmin (WD) had an impact after coming on in the second quarter, with an intercept and three deflections, finishing with 43 NNP. Karla Pretorius (GD) and Maweni (GK) had a similarly consistent game with two intercepts and four deflections between them.

The GIANTS utilised the super shot effectively, shooting eight out of ten (80% accuracy) between Dwyer and Harten across the game.

Tilly McDonnell came on at the start of the third quarter for the GIANTS and brought some spark to the team against Koenan but didn’t match up quite as well against Proscovia.

WHAT needs improvement?

Both sides appeared fatigued at times, with Lightning coach Kylie Byrne even telling the Lightning team during their fourth quarter time out that the GIANTS were starting to tire. The many changes and COVID restrictions likely have taken a toll on players, and it will be interesting to see which team is able to dig deep during the finals.

During one of the time outs Harten told her team that it was not a physical battle on court but a mental one, which most likely sums up how all the sides feel at this point of the season.

WHERE was it won?

Mahalia Cassidy won the battle of the midcourt against Jamie-Lee Price and had an amazing game. Lightning overall was more consistent across the court. The penalty count was 45 Lightning compared to 66 GIANTS and they had nine intercepts to the GIANTS’ two. Shooting accuracy was also in favour of the Lightning (91%) over the GIANTS (85%).

WHERE was it lost?

Price is usually a strong ball-winner for the GIANTS, but she struggled after a great first quarter (32.5 NNP). She had six uncharacteristic general play turnovers although she finished the game with 71.5 NNP. Price seemed visibly frustrated from the second quarter, with a number of offensive contacts. There was also a dangerous and unnecessary challenge by Price on Cassidy on the edge of the circle behind the play. Cassidy ended up on the floor and GIANTS captain Jo Harten called an immediate time out to try and settle the team.

There were also a number of occasions where the GIANTS had won the ball off the Lightning centre during the super shot period and Harten was under the post able to take the one point shot but tried to pass the ball out for the two-point shot, only for it to end up in the hands of Lightning who scored down the other end.

The GIANTS seemed hesitant to release the ball, particularly in the latter half of the game and during overtime where the last period of play they were unable to get the ball into the circle.

HOW did she do that?

During the second quarter Cassidy chased down a ball that was going out down the Lightning end. She jumped over the ball and flicked it back into Koenan who went on to score. 

MVP: Mahalia Cassidy (Lightning)

Starting lineups:

Lightning: GS Koenen, GA Wood, WA Scherian, C McAuliffe, WD Cassidy, GD Pretorius, GK Maweni

Giants: GS Harten, GA Dwyer, WA Hay, C Price, WD Parmenter, GD Brandley, GK Poolman

 

Laura Scherian was particularly influential for the Lightning. Image Marcela Massey

 

Maddie Hay desperately passes back over her head to keep the ball in play. Image Marcela Massey

 

A late hit by Jamie-Lee Price saw Mahalia Cassidy slow to get up. Image Marcela Massey

 


 

WEST COAST FEVER 75 def COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES

by Katrina Nissen

 

WHO dominated?   

Fever’s defence was a dominant force during the early stages of this match. The combination of Courtney Bruce and Sunday Aryang has been humming along nicely this season, but they were on a whole other level tonight. The duo works seamlessly and fluidly to cover the other’s player if one goes out for a fly or as an intimidating force on the double jump. 

They were supported well by Stacey Francis-Bayman in wing defence and Jess Anstiss as a defensive centre. These midcourters put enough pressure on the feeds to block easy passes or cause doubt which allowed Aryang and Bruce to get around for clean intercepts or deflections.  

Collectively the team took a total of 15 gains for the match, which is relatively high by league standards. 

WHAT worked?   

Fever has been guilty of slow starts this season, until the last three matches where things have fallen into place. Tonight they got off to a blistering 20-10 start, followed by a 20-11 second quarter. The full-court press primarily caused this change in form. Whenever the ball was turned over, the defensive vice was applied from Jhaniele Fowler down the court. They were particularly impressive in the midcourt to stall the Magpies flow through court. 

In attack, Alice Teague-Neeld looked comfortable. Jodi-Ann Ward stuck with Teague-Neeld for much of first and second phase work but came off her once they hit the circle. This release of pressure allowed the goal attack an easy look into the circle, and once she put the ball high into Fowler, it was all but secured through the ring. 

In the third quarter, Teague-Neeld was swapped out for Sasha Glasgow. While Glasgow is an experienced attacker, she lacks the drive and defensive ability of Teague-Need. This worked in Magpies favour as they were able to capitalise on any turnovers from Fever and bring their gains to goal rate up

While the scoreboard didn’t show it, the back half of the match was a vast improvement from the first for the Magpies. They were more patient in attack and worked the ball toward the circle rather than forcing it. This resulted in a tidy 87% centre pass to goal rate in the second half compared to the 51.5% in the first. Despite the improved patience, the Magpies were unfortunate to not reduce the deficit at all.

WHAT needs improvement?

Turnovers absolutely killed the Magpies in the first half. And, while it would be easy to say that it was the Fever’s defensive pressure that caused the turnovers, that’s not the whole story. The first half error rate was more likely caused by a shell-shocked team who were trying too hard to bring back a goal deficit and forgetting to do the simple things well.  

Attacking players were too high up the court so that when the ball was turned over, they had nowhere to run and no one to throw to. They were then forced to work overtime to get the ball down the court and only offered one lead at a time rather than multiple. This then causes the ball carrier to throw long passes, and around the vicious cycle goes again. This unnecessary extra workload led to a sloppy first half for a team who had tired legs from close consecutive games at the end of an arduous season.  But – silver lining – they tidied up a great deal and reduced their turnovers dramatically to only lose the second half by one goal. 

WHERE was it decided? 

That punishing first half sealed the deal for the Fever, so much so that they were able to rest Bruce and Fowler in favour of Olivia Lewis and a moving goal circle for the last quarter. 

HOW did she do that?! 

An interesting tactic which we haven’t seen much of was Jacqui Newton’s positioning on Fowler. While many defenders opt to face the ball on its way into the Jamaican, Newton turned her body side-on. This allowed her to still see the ball while also keeping her peripheral vision on Fowler. Newton was never going to match the aerial skills of Fowler if the ball was placed high enough. However, by manoeuvring herself in this position, she was able to get her hand in on a few occasions for deflections. If Newton got herself off the body just a touch more, she may not have been called for the contacts and won the ball cleanly. But we look forward to seeing how she develops this method over the next few seasons. 

MVP: Sunday Aryang (Fever)

Starting lineups:

Fever: GS Fowler, GA Teague-Neeld, WA Charles, C Anstiss, WD Francis-Bayman, GD Aryang, GK Bruce

Magpies: GS Nelson, GA Sinclair, WA Browne, C Jovic, WD Ward, GD Newton, GK Mentor 

 

The final stages of the match got messy when both teams were aiming for the two point shots. Image Marcela Massey

 

Jhaniele Fowler was her usual dominant self, this time against the Magpies Geva Mentor. Image Marcela Massey

 

While Shimona Nelson has been dominant in previous weeks, Fever restricted her to 37 goals, albeit at 100% accuracy. Image Marcela Massey


 

WHAT’S NEXT

Round 14

Wednesday 4th August Swifts v Thunderbirds at 3.30pm

Wednesday 4th August Vixens v Firebirds at 6.30pm

Saturday 7th August Swifts v Lightning at 12.30pm

Saturday 7th August Fever v GIANTS at 2.30pm

 

PODCASTS

This year, Netball Scoop has teamed up with The Netball Show Podcast and The Netty Life Podcast to bring you all of our Suncorp Super Netball post-match interviews. Hear from your favourite players and coaches as they dissect the matches and get candid about ways they can improve throughout the season. 

Listen now on your favourite podcast aps.  

 

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