The Giants have secured their first win of 2019 after defeating the Magpies 58 – 50 at Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday.
The match started smoothly enough for both sides. Despite Giant Caitlin Bassett scoring her first goal with ease, the next five minutes were a struggle for the home team. Magpies captain Geva Mentor held front position on her toes long enough to force the Giants midcourters to let off wayward passes as they desperately looked for options in the circle. For Mentor and her compatriot April Brandley, the tactics were to confuse the space long enough to cause a feeding error.
Giants goal keeper Sam Poolman provided a major impact in the opening quarter in taking two intercepts to set up a smooth transition downcourt. In combination with Kristiana Manu’a, their defensive efforts kept the Giants in range of the Magpies.
In the opening quarter each team was their own worst enemy; the Giants were successful in moving the ball downcourt but became choked up once they looked into the goal circle. Bassett was usually either caught behind her defender, took too long to set up, or was generally out of time in her transitions with Jo Harten which caused the midcourters to doubt their feeds.
In the Magpies camp, it was a case of “coach-killer” errors. Nat Medhurst received a footwork call in the goal circle and broke on the centre pass, while inaccuracy in the goal circle let the Giants back into the match.
The Magpies won the quarter 12 – 11, with goal shooter Shimona Nelson their most impactful player in shooting 11 goals at 100 per cent accuracy while Giants’ midcourter Amy Parmenter took two intercepts for the quarter.
The Giants won the second term to secure their first bonus point since Round 1. Poolman seemed to win the mental game over Nelson who missed under the post and was called for contact after planting an elbow into Poolman’s torso. The key for Giants in the second quarter came from Harten’s improvement after missing two of her first three shots. After a timeout was called Harten was able to create play and find confidence in her shooting.
The Giants took control of the quarter by throwing an outlet pass to open up the court to give Bassett the space to settle into a hold. Jamie-Lee Price made a huge impact in centre, taking control of the midcourt and directing play to open up space in attack. The team’s smoothness, like a lot of things in the match, lasted for only a short time. Despite Harten’s intention to lift her team, she was called for contact three times.
Amy Parmenter was a consistent positive for the Giants in wing defence, taking an intercept and a deflection for the quarter. The Magpies’ Kim Ravaillion was a solid performer for the quarter with no negative stat against her name apart from a single contact, while Ash Brazill was her quieter self with the task of smothering Kim Green.
The Giants led at the half way point 25 – 23 and furthered their lead in the third term despite looking disjointed in attack. Harten’s hard drives across the circle provided an extra feeding option and allowed Bassett to present strong holds and shoot 13 goals from 14 attempts, however there was still a lack of connection throughout the quarter with loose passes coming from Green and Price.
Nelson provided the Magpies with a target under the ring as Poolman began to lose her edge, as she was often left on her own to cover the high ball into Nelson as Medhurst dragged Manu’a away from the action. The Magpies made some changes in subbing Brandley for Melissa Bragg halfway into the quarter while Gabrielle Sinclair replaced Medhurst towards the end of the term.
Unfortunately for Bragg, she made minimal impact in deflecting the ball once without gain and contacted four times, while Sinclair made a notable performance in her short cameo before being subbed off in the last quarter.
Both teams experimented with different line ups in the final term. While the Magpies changes were forced, the Giants included Keira Austin in the final minutes as they closed out the match.
Medhurst seemed to have one of her quieter games with six goals and 10 goal assists, yet her absence became obvious when the Magpies played a disconnected attacking game. Her replacement, Sinclair was accurate from distance but was called to the bench as the Magpies struggled to reassert their trademark fast and smart style of play.
Finally, the Giants found the connections that had evaded them since the start of the season. While there were passages of play that were flawless during the match, the Giants started to produce that play consistently.
MVP Amy Parmenter also capped off a solid performance with an intercept for the quarter and finished the match with a deflection and four intercepts. The Magpies scrapped back to deny the Giants of one final bonus point in drawing the quarter but finished the match with no solutions to the Giants formidable attack line.
FINAL SCORE: GIANTS NETBALL 58 def. COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES 50
(11 – 12), (15 – 11), (17 – 12), (15 – 15)
Player of the match: Amy Parmenter
Caitlin Bassett 40/42 95%
Kiera Austin 1/2 50%
(Jo Harten 17/25 68%)
GIANTS Netball 58/69 84%
Shimona Nelson 43/50 86%
Nat Medhurst 6/9 67%
(Gabrielle Sinclair 1/2 50%)
Collingwood Magpies 50/61 82%
Amy Parmenter (Giants) 4
April Brandley (Magpies) 3
Geva Mentor (Magpies) 2
Jamie-Lee Price (Giants) 2
Sam Poolman (Giants) 2
Sam Poolman (Giants) 4
Geva Mentor (Magpies) 4
Shimona Nelson (Magpies) 3
Caitlin Bassett (Giants) 2
April Brandley (Magpies) 2
Kim Green (Giants) 34
Jamie-Lee Price (Giants) 32
Kelsey Browne (Magpies) 25
Kim Ravaillion (Magpies) 17
Kim Green (Giants) 20
Kelsey Browne (Magpies) 20
Jamie-Lee Price (Giants) 19
Jo Harten (Giants) 13
Starting line ups
GS Caitlin Bassett
GA Joanne Harten
WA Kimberlee Green
C Jamie-Lee Price
WD Amy Parmenter
GD Kristiana Manu’a
GK Samantha Poolman
Changes: Q4 GA Keira Austin
GS Shimona Nelson
GA Natalie Medhurst
WA Kelsey Browne
C Kim Ravaillion
WD Ash Brazill
GD April Brandley
GK Geva Mentor
Changes: Q3 GD Melissa Bragg, GA Gabrielle Sinclair
Q4 GD April Brandley, WD Melissa Bragg, WD Ash Brazill, GA Nat Medhurst
Julie Fitzgerald, GIANTS Netball Coach
On securing the first win of the season
“I think we’ve had a really rough start to the season but their attitude this week and how hard they’ve trained and how hard they worked – I’m really glad they got the reward for it today in the match,” Fitzgerald said.
On areas of improvement
“We’ve certainly worked really hard in the limited time we’ve had her (Bassett) available to us and what I think is most exciting about that is the fact it can be so much better. There were still some patches today where we let ourselves down a bit so there’s room for improvement there and that’s exciting.”
On the game
“I think for us it’s about building on our confidence now. We need to keep feeding Cbass in training, we’ve done a lot of match play in training just to try and get the combos and the lines flowing. You can kind of see little glimpses today which we’re gradually building throughout the season.”
“There’s still a lot to work on though, there’s still things that are completely not perfect and not right but (I’m) really happy to come up against world class defenders and get reward for it.”
On the match-up against the Firebirds next week
“They’re in a bit of a dark patch as well I think at the moment. They came off a bit of a loss today and they’ll be looking at themselves as well so it’s probably going to be an absolute bloodbath out there.”