What is it like sharing the court with your twin? Jordan and Zoe Cransberg give an insight into playing netball alongside your sister, and we ask, does twin magic really exist?
We all know that netball can forge bonds of sisterhood. But how does being part of a team with your actual sister, let alone twin, compare? We sat down with midcourt twins Jordan and Zoe Cransberg, the latest set of sisters to take the court in Suncorp Super Netball.
Originally basketballers in Essendon, Victoria, the Cransbergs followed their older sister Ashleigh into netball at their local club Aberfeldie.
Progressing through age teams, both played for the Melbourne University development team and the Victorian Fury before moving interstate. West Coast Fever announced in early 2023 that Jordan had joined Zoe on their books as training partners.
Jordan is the newest member to the Fever squad, joining as a training partner for the 2023 season, and has received a solid amount of court time, while Zoe first stepped onto court for the Fever in 2022 as a replacement player.
The sisters debuted their partnership in the preseason Team Girls Cup, after several years apart due to COVID season cancellations and injuries.
‘It was the highlight of my career so far, playing with my sister in a high performance environment after 4 years,’ said Jordan.
On and off the court the sisters are each other’s biggest supporters.
‘Moving up through netball pathways, there are not many people who get to share those experiences with someone they are so close to, or be on the court with their best friend. It not only helped my game, but it’s an amazing feeling to share that with my sister.’ said Jordan. ‘Mum and dad really like it too.’
The sisters share both the good and the bad times together.
‘It might sound strange but when Zoe did her ACL I was more devastated for her than when I did mine the year before’ said Jordan.
‘I had gone through the process and was on the other side of rehab, and looking to get back onto the court, and all that excitement came crashing down when Zoe was injured. I would always prefer for me to get injured again rather than for her to go through it.
‘To an extent, Zoe’s injury did slow my return down as it was a mental block for me.’
Closer than team mates, the sisters don’t hesitate in giving each other feedback.
‘We have never had a blow up on court,’ laughed Zoe, ‘but we are completely honest with each other, and from the outside that may look a little rude… but we are sisters and know we will be fine.’
Throughout the history of netball, there has been an illustrious list of sisters lining up with and against each other, including the von Bertouch and Browne sisters. More recently there has been an influx of twins into Suncorp Super Netball.
The Hinchcliffes, Sligars and now Cransbergs are translating off-court connections to teammates, but does ‘twin magic’ exist?
‘I believe it does,’ said Jordan. ‘Growing up together, being with each other every second of every day for nearly 20 years, we just know each other so well and that translates onto on the netball court.
‘If I have nowhere to throw, I just somehow know where Zoe is and know she will get the pass.’
‘We have so much trust in each other, and I definitely get confidence on court from Jordan,’ said Zoe. ‘That familiarity, that knowing that someone is there who knows how you play and knows you on another level.
‘The hardest part is that we often are competing for the same spot on the team, and play similarly so we do get directly compared, and it can be difficult when one of you get’s more court time and success.’
Jordan added, ‘I can’t be fully happy with my opportunity unless Zoe is on the court with me, which is annoying. I wish it wasn’t like that, but it’s how it is when you are so close to your sister, you want them to share in the success.’
Family by chance, teammates by choice, the Cransberg sisters have always preferred playing together rather than against each other.
‘We have never played against each other in a game’ said Zoe.
However this will change soon in their upcoming Round 6 of the Gold Industry Group West Australian Netball League on 21 April.
Jordan plays for Curtin-Hamersley Comets while Zoe plays for Western Roar, and there will be a high chance that the twins will line up as direct opponents, with both playing centre in the opening round for their prospective teams.
‘I will want to beat her, but I will also want her to play well,’ said Jordan.
‘My coach has said I need to forget she is my sister and just play,’ followed Zoe with a laugh.