Netball Scoop – Suncorp Super Netball – Round 10, 2021
Contributors – Jenny Sinclair, Jane Edwards, Georgia Doyle, Car Gledhill, Katrina Nissen and Ian Harkin
Photographers – Kirsten Daley, Clinton Bradbury, Sue McKay and Aleisha Vicars
New South Wales Swifts 62 def. Melbourne Vixens 48 (18-6, 13-9, 16-10, 15-23)
Sunshine Coast Lightning 65 def. West Coast Fever 61 (17-16, 16-17, 20-14, 12-14)
Queensland Firebirds 63 def. Adelaide Thunderbirds 47 (14-12, 15-15, 17-9, 17-11)
GIANTS Netball 58 def. Magpies Netball 49 (14-9, 13-14, 15-12, 16-14)
Kelsey Browne sat out the Pies’ match against the GIANTS with a concussion sustained during the Round 9 game. She was replaced in the squad by training partner Maggie Lind.
Gabi Sinclair returned from her thigh strain that kept her out last week, although had it well strapped.
Kiera Austin (GIANTS) – ACL (season)
Liz Watson (Vixens) – foot (season)
Ash Unie (Lightning) – ACL (season)
Maddie Hinchliffe (Lightning) – foot.
There were milestones aplenty in Round 10:
Congratulations to Geva Mentor who played her 200th Australian national league game on Sunday. Read Geva’s thoughts about her incredible career here.
Sunshine Coast Lightning celebrated two milestones this week with Mahalia Cassidy and Cara Koenen both celebrating their 50th national league matches.
Adelaide Thunderbirds’ captain, Hannah Petty also celebrated her 50th national league match. Coach Tania Obst had this to say about Hannah’s journey to her milestone:
“I can remember Hannah coming out to 17&U trials what would be almost 10 years ago now thinking she was this 17 year old, very mature physically, very strong kid and then I found out she was 14. Her development has been fantastic for young netballers [to see] you can grow up in country South Australia or Metro Adelaide and play at this level. She’s had to combat some significant injuries, she struggled with concussion for almost a season, she had a foot injury that kept her out of the game for a while but she has the resilience and the hard work to get to where she is today.”
Firebirds Vice Captain, Tara Hinchliffe also reached her 50th match milestone. Coach Megan Anderson had this to play about Tara’s growth this season:
“I think she’s had a pretty spectacular season. She’s a really unassuming player but she’s up there on the intercepts, rebound and tips. I just think she’s growing in confidence, and she’s benefiting from the defence throughout the court from us and she reads the play so beautifully so it’s great to see her stepping up.”
Congratulations to all of these brilliant athletes.
ROOKIE OF THE ROUND
Wing defence turned wing attack Maddie Hay continues to impress this season, and once again is our rookie of the round as well as the official match MVP. She finished her match with 40 feeds, 18 centre pass receives, 1 intercept and just 2 penalties. While she was a little expensive, with 5 turnovers, she gave the circle shooters great service throughout the match.
PLAYS OF THE ROUND
Over the past few months, former Diamonds’ head coach, Lisa Alexander, has been in sparkling form on social media. And in exciting news, Alexander will be super-subbing for Netball Scoop, providing a coach’s perspective and analytical discussion of one game per round. Keep your eyes peeled midweek for Lisa’s thoughts on “View from the Bench”.
With the Delta variant of Covid wreaking havoc around Australia, the clash between Fever and Lightning was played under quarantine conditions. In a light hearted poke at the situation, the overall-clad ball-people were announced to the song, “Ghostbusters” while cameramen also sported the logo on their PPE.
TEAM OF THE ROUND
After a subpar performance last week in their loss against the Vixens, Sunshine Coast Lightning responded in emphatic fashion. Travelling to WA is always a challenging task, but Lightning were clinical in their victory over the Fever this week. It was the perfect way for the team to celebrate the 50th game milestone of two of their young guns, Cara Koenen and Mahalia Cassidy, while the combination of Koenen and Wood wouldn’t have gone unnoticed by national selectors.
In a case of the stats not always telling the full story, Tayla Fraser had an outstanding grinding game at wing defence, but finished on -6 Nissan Netpoints. Fraser shone in areas not well captured by statistics: covering leads from her opponents, confusing space around the circle edge for the Vixens feeders, helping to bring the ball through the court in attack and hands over pressure in defence. Her efforts out the front were a crucial component in the Swifts’ defence.
After starting the season with seven straight wins, West Coast Fever have now lost their past two matches, to Swifts and Lightning. Beating Fever relies on showing patience with the ball and making as few errors as possible. Swifts and Lightning both did that for 60 minutes and came up with less than 20 turnovers.
In round 3, Lightning had 22 turnovers to Fever’s 16. In this round, the situation was reversed; Fever had 21 turnovers to Lightning’s 16!
Number of turnovers by Fever’s opponents in 2021:
Vixens 23 (Lost by 14)
Swifts 23 (Lost by 8)
Lightning 22 (Lost by 15)
Tbirds 21 (Lost by 8)
Giants 23 (Lost by 1)
Magpies 29 (Lost by 23)
Firebirds 21 (Lost by 10)
Swifts 13 (Won by 1)
Lightning 16 (Won by 4)
Applause must go to the Sunshine Coast Lightning and Queensland Firebirds, who in this round, managed to reverse an alarming trend. For both teams, their third quarters are usually the worst, losing 5/9 and 6/9 respectively over the nine rounds.
In their Round 10 clashes, it was their convincing performance in the third quarter that allowed them to seal the match. Lighting outpointed the Fever 20-14, while the Firebirds went on a 17-9 spree against the Thunderbirds.
TALKING POINTS OF THE ROUND
The League has advised that their decision regarding the rescheduled Round 8 match between West Coast Fever and Melbourne Vixens, will be forthcoming this week. There is no word yet on what the repercussions for either club will be, nor is there any further announcements from the league’s investigations into the incident.
If the match is rescheduled, it’s hard to know when it’s to be. A match crammed midweek between other fixtures seems difficult for both clubs, given travel-weary bodies. If it is to be played midweek after Round 14, it would be challenging for either club if they were to go on and play finals, while pushing the season out by a week, and having all the other clubs bide their time with a bye, isn’t ideal either. If the match is to play out midweek at some point, surely both clubs must be allowed a bench of 12, to manage player fatigue.
Matches played during NAIDOC week included Welcome to Country and a range of Indigenous cultural activities. Clubs wore their Indigenous Round dresses where possible, although the GIANTS, Swifts and Firebirds departed their home states in such a hurry that the kit was left in storage.
Incoming Netball Australia CEO Kelly Ryan started her role this week. Hoping to provide visibility for netball in the wider sporting community, Ryan is also keen for Netball Australia to be more transparent with it’s decision making, news that will please fans. Ryan appeared last week on Centre Court Netball to discuss her start, while she also popped up at the Vixens match on the weekend.
After maintaining a low profile on the airwaves over the past controversy filled months, Marina Go has also been prominent on Twitter over the past few days.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
It’s not a tweet, but we’ll allow it because it is one of the cutest pregnancy announcements we have seen in a while. Congratulations to Ash Brazill and wife, Brooke, who have announced Baby Braz 2 is due in November.
STAND OUT STATISTICS
Jhaniele Fowler – 44/44 100%
Cara Koenen 44/48 91.7%
Mwai Kumwenda (Vixens) – 8
Sophie Dwyer (GIANTS) – 3
Gabby Sinclair (Magpies) – 3
Verity Charles (Fever) – 25
Maddie Hay (GIANTS) – 23
Sarah Klau (Swifts) – 12
Jodi-Ann Ward (GIANTS) – 8
Sarah Klau (Swifts) – 12
Geva Mentor (Magpies) – 7
Maddy Turner (Swifts) – 5
Kim Jenner (Firebirds) – 5
Centre Pass Receives
Laura Scherian (Lightning) – 24
Gabrielle Sinclair (Magpies) – 24
Karla Pretorius (Lightning) – 20
Courtney Bruce (Fever) – 18
Hannah Petty (Thunderbirds) – 10
Kim Ravaillion (Firebirds) – 7
Laura Scherian (Lightning) – 7
Steph Wood (Lightning) – 103.5
Sarah Klau (Swifts) – 95.5
Fever – 93.3%
Lightning – 91.2%
Vixens – 8
Fever – 5
Swifts – 20
GIANTS – 16
Adelaide Thunderbirds – 36
Melbourne Vixens – 30
Lightning – 63
Firebirds – 63
Magpies – 63
NSW SWIFTS 62 def MELBOURNE VIXENS 48
Match report by Jane Edwards
While Swifts GK Sarah Klau was the last-line beneficiary of tight marking and strong over-the-ball defence by her up-court teammates, she played a sensational individual game against Mwai Kumwenda. She limited the Vixens shooter to five goals in the first twenty minutes of the match, and forced coach Simone McKinnis to push her highest-scoring shooter out to GA to get her hands on the ball. Klau reinforced her height advantage in the Vixens goal circle with flashy footwork to move nimble around Kumwenda, nullifying her holds and getting a touch on feeds both high and low and the Vixens repeatedly failed to find their favourite target.
Sam Wallace and Helen Housby combined smoothly to pre-empt any defensive strategies the Vixens might have had in mind. Housby matched Maddy Proud’s figures for feeds with an attempt, while Wallace had an immaculate 33 goals at 100% against a whirlwind of substitutions between starting GK Kadie-Ann Dehaney and the short-term appearances from Emily Mannix.
The way the Swifts work the ball to their goal circle is all about eye contact. It looks straightforward: there is rarely a pass that is not delivered to a teammate who has worked her way in front of her opponent and is presenting, shoulders squared, eyes alight for the ball. The attackers particularly work in little pair runs to feed the ball safely from the circle edge. As Maddy Proud explained it, “We have had the core of this team together for a little while now, so experience and knowing each other shows as we have more time on court. Particularly at the moment, we are spending a lot of time together, but I also think that when a team is on, your timing is there, you’re reading off one another, you’re really focused on who’s in front of you. Sometimes, on the flip side, when you aren’t doing that everyone gets spread wide, and we’re all running for the same ball or all running away from it. When we’re on, we’re so in tune with one another, and that really just comes from time together.”
The Swifts full court defensive pressure ensured that Klau did not achieve the feat of quelling Kumwenda all on her own: some of her defensive gains resulted from a scissoring space constriction by Maddy Turner and Klau, tricking the feeders into believing Kumwenda had forward space for a pass and then converging on the ball from opposite directions. It made Kumwenda difficult to sight for the feeders, who then faced the repeated conundrum of where to place the ball to her. It caused a range of goal-third Vixens turnovers in the first quarter – two offensive contacts, a held ball and two passes spilled over the baseline – that resulted in a horror score of 18-6 at the first break.
WHAT needs improvement?
Simone McKinnis is not a coach to sit by wondering if her starting seven can fix things unaided, and she made changes to every position on court except for GD. Few of these substitutions produced lasting improvements – the Swifts’ lead stretched to twenty goals in the second, third and fourth quarters.
WHERE was it won?
The first quarter was a key focus for the Swifts to ensure that they backed up on the high of last week’s victory over the Fever. “It’s really been our Achilles’ heel this season, not being able to execute on our processes after having such a big win the week before,” said captain Maddy Proud after the match. “We had a really narrow focus to go over all those little things.That first quarter really set us up for the rest of the game, and just showed that if we stick to that plan – the great game plan put together by the coaches – it was about going simple, and going back to basics.”
HOW did she do that?!
Stung by a first half performance that did not replicate her customary flair, Mwai Kumwenda played the last five minutes of the match like a woman freed from the fear of failure. In the final five minute super shot period she had six two-point attempts and sank five of them, dragging the deficit back to a more complimentary 14 goals, and singlehandedly winning the quarter for the Vixens 23-15. The quarter score before Kumwenda went on this dizzy fling was 12-11 in favour of the Swifts.
MVP: Sarah Klau (Swifts)
Vixens: GS Kumwenda, GA Stanton, WA Mundy, C Moloney, WD Eddy, GD Weston, GK Dehaney
Swifts: GS Wallace, GA Housby, WA Hadley, C Proud, WD Fraser, GD Turner, GK Klau
Briony Akle on living in the team hub, and leaving home on short notice: “It has been hard, there’s no denying that it has been hard on the teams that have had to do it. We’re super resilient, and this is what we love to do. We’re given the opportunity, we’re privileged that we’re out here getting to do it. It’s not in Sydney, but it’s still in front of people who love netball, and being around great netty is keeping us focused and finding the joy in the little situations that aren’t so much joy.”
Simone McKinnis “I thought we’d had a good preparation, I thought we were in a good mind space before the game. Swifts were a good team right from the word go. We had spoken about the first quarter, that Swifts are very strong in that first quarter. We didn’t match that intensity, we didn’t match that intent and focus in the first quarter. There were too many basic errors, and Swifts are a team that will make you pay doubly every time you make those sort of basic errors.”
SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING 65 def WEST COAST FEVER 61
Match report by Jenny Sinclair
Sunshine Coast Lightning were blown off the court by Fever in their last three encounters, and were facing them in Western Australia in front of the Green Army, so pundits could have been excused for tipping another big margin. However, a safe but smooth outing by the Lightning saw them take out a four point win against Fever, who were unable to maintain their powerful form of the first half of the season.
It was a consummate team performance by the Lightning athletes, who dominated the match with a combination of slick attacking moves and a strong defensive effort that stifled the Fever’s passage to goal. Cara Koenen’s silky baseline movement and rebounding position saw her outplay Courtney Bruce, while she was fed superbly by her midcourters. MVP Steph Wood dominated, sinking 18/20, and – not content with 17 goal assists and 21 centre pass receives – directed play in the attacking third.
In the defensive circle, Phumza Maweni’s positioning in front of Jhaniele Fowler allowed her to pick off any loose passes. She was supported by Karla Pretorius, who was effective in both double teaming Fowler, but rolling off her to the circle edge where she came up with three gains.
For Fever, Alice Teague-Neeld continued her excellent form of late. While she only sunk 10/13 (8/9 and 2/4 supershots), her work in setting up play couldn’t be ignored. Her ability to get across the line for the centre pass freed up Verity Charles on second phase, to feed the circle.
Lightning was far too clinical across the court, with just 16 turnovers to their credit. It was a safe rather than speedy approach, particularly in the last quarter as they looked to slow play and keep the ball away from the Fever defence.
In recent weeks coach Kylee Byrne has experimented with Maddy McAuliffe in centre, pushing Mahalia Cassidy to wing defence. McAuliffe’s additional seven centimetres may not seem like much, but combined with her extra wing span and defensive prowess, makes it a far more difficult task for opponents safe passage to goal. McAuliffe doesn’t quite have the touch into her shooters as yet, but with the nous of Laura Scherian and Wood, the lack isn’t noticeable.
Mention must also go to Koenen’s in-circle positioning. Her holds were a thing of beauty, with Bruce only able to watch helplessly as balls either sailed over her head, or Koenen out-rebounded her 5 to 1.
The double teaming of Maweni and Pretorius on Fowler, combined with some early misfires from Charles, left Fever far too reluctant to place the quick or high ball into their star. Fowler was often spotted in good position, calling for the ball, but to no avail.
On a positive note for Fever, they continue to maintain their dominance in fourth quarters this season, winning all of them to date. While in this match the nine point mountain was too difficult to conquer, it should give them confidence knowing that they have the ability to hunt down a opponent.
WHAT needs improvement?
It was a strangely uninspired outing from most of the Fever athletes, who lacked polish and their usual speed in attack, and were somewhat flatfooted in defence. As the game went on, Bruce lost her usual confidence, and instead of attacking the ball – which she does exceedingly well – turned her back on it to mark her opponent instead. Given her struggles against the movement of Koenen and Wood, she might have been better served by attacking the ball rather than sitting back on her opponent for a costly 18 penalties.
In the second half Fever’s coach Stacey Marinkovich, in search of a winning formula, made a number of substitutions and positional changes. Few of them had the desired effect, although it was worth the attempt to try and shift momentum.
The usual changes between Teague-Neeld and Sasha Glasgow lacked impact, with Glasgow giving up two turnovers in her cameo on court.
While it’s difficult to know the reason for their uncharacteristic performance, a lot of factors could have impacted the Fever, including the mounting pressure to make the finals, recent controversies, and six out of the last nine games on the road.
WHERE was it won?
At the end of the third quarter the game was still on relatively level terms, when Steph Wood put her foot on the accelerator. Toying with her opponent Courtney Bruce, who’d been shifted to goal defence, Wood banged in five points in 90 seconds, including three goals and one supershot. The lead shot out to eight points, and while Fever managed to reel it in during the last term, the damage had already done.
WHERE was it lost?
Fever had taken the lead early in the third quarter, until some sloppy work undid all their efforts. Seven turnovers in and around the shooting circle turned almost certain goals – with Fowler shooting at 100% for the game – into an opportunity for Lighting to score. It was a combination of poor passing, an offside, and receivers stagnant on the take – a lethal error against the closing speed of Pretorius.
HOW did she do that?!
There were some special moments during the match, but one of the best came from Wood. Balancing on the baseline, she looked set to fall out of court, but instead managed to flick the ball back into Koenen, who promptly sunk the goal.
MVP: Steph Wood (Lightning)
Fever: GS Fowler, GA Teague-Neeld, WA Cosh, C Charles, WD Anstiss, GD Francis-Bayman, GK Bruce
Lightning: GS Koenen, GA Wood, WA Scherian, C McAuliffe, WD Cassidy, GD Pretorius, GK Maweni
QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS 63 def ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS 49
Match report by Georgia Doyle
With both teams sitting on equal competition points leading into this game and only one win behind Fever in fourth (despite them having a game in hand) a win in front of the 100% capacity Adelaide crowd was a must for each team to keep their finals hopes alive. Both also had further motivation to get the win, with key players celebrating a 50 game milestone with Thunderbirds Captain Hannah Petty and Firebirds Vice Captain Tara Hinchliffe clocking up the half-century.
The game was relatively evenly contested through the first half, with Firebirds holding only a two goal lead heading into the main break but they came out firing in the second half, with a particularly dominant 9-17 third quarter. They finished with a 16 goal victory over the home side, to put themselves level on competition points with Fever, while also giving their percentage a significant boost in the process.
Kim Jenner was back in her dominant 2020 form for the Firebirds, finishing the game with four gains and five pick-ups, the most for her team in each of these stats. While her direct opposition, Georgie Horjus, also had a good game it was Jenner’s combination with 50 gamer Tara Hinchliffe that confused the Thunderbirds feeders and caused connections to break down in the attacking end. She was also able to stay relatively clean in terms of penalties, only picking up 9 for the game, an area where she has previously found herself struggling.
Despite two simple turnovers in the third quarter, with a stray pass completely missing target Gabi Simpson and a soft take that led a ball over the baseline, this seemed to just spur her on to work harder to earn back ball for her side, picking up three of her four gains during the second half of the match.
The switch up in attack for the Firebirds bringing Jemma Mi Mi and Tippah Dwan on court into WA for Lara Dunkley and GA for Gretel Tippett respectively really opened up the attacking end and allowed them to push out their lead in the third quarter. Adding slightly more movement in the circle, as well as the threat of super shots, Dwan was able to challenge both Matilda Garrett and Latanya Wilson, leaving both of them gainless for the second half.
While Firebirds had no need to rely on the super shot, already holding a commanding lead, the extra attention paid to Dwan opened up an easy ball to Aiken, who outperformed Sterling for the majority of the match. MiMi also used her speed to keep Shadine Van de Merwe and Wilson out of the game, hitting circle edge cleanly and getting off quick feeds into both shooters. This versatility will be of great benefit to Firebirds as the edge closer to a top four position.
WHAT needs improvement?
After stellar performances in previous weeks, Sterling seemed to have lost her mojo this round. It is known that she typically performs well against the tall holding shooter, but she was unable to effectively get around Aiken or contest the high ball against her this week. Add to that the near impossibility of getting rebounds off her, and Sterling struggled to have the impact she has in previous games.
While Thunderbirds were well and truly still in the match at half time, they lacked gusto in the second half and struggled to get enough hand to ball in order for their shooters to capitalise and draw back the lead. Add to that a relatively ineffective use of the super shot, sinking only one of their four attempts and not until the final quarter, it must be pondered whether or not Sam Gooden should have entered the game in the third quarter so they only had a hill to climb rather than a mountain in the fourth.
WHERE was it won?
It all changed in the third quarter for the Firebirds, winning it by 17-9. Thunderbirds had 12 turnovers in this 15 minute period, including four from Centre, captain and milestone player Hannah Petty. While Firebirds had high numbers with nine, they had more gains which allowed them to make amends for the ball they threw away. The increased movement in the forward line with the addition of Dwan and Mi Mi kept the Thunderbirds defenders guessing and the mid court mixed up their approach to goal. In the first half Ravaillion dominated the feeds, racking up 20 out of her team’s 41, where in the second half she had 16 and Mi Mi 19. This even split is much harder for defenders to manage as defenders are left needing to split their attention between players, rather than focussing on one.
WHERE was it lost?
Conversely, the third quarter is where it all went wrong for the Thunderbirds. While they managed four gains in this quarter, they were unable to convert any of them to a goal which really hurt their chances of making headway into the deficit. They also only scored for 46% of their centre passes, and while the Firebirds probably weren’t where they would like to be with this stat at 62%, it still allowed for a significantly more amount of goals to be stacked on by the team in purple. With such strong teams across the SSN, scoring only 9 goals in a quarter is very unlikely to win you a game, regardless of how strong the rest of the quarters are, something the Thunderbirds will need to address as they face three of the four current top teams in the back end of their season.
HOW did she do that?!
Early in the first quarter, Sterling came out of the circle for a screaming intercept, pulled it in and then balanced on the ball over the transverse line to avoid going offside. Petty could tell her teammate was in strife, running over to push her back on-side and provide a quick offload to ensure they got the ball away within the required 3 seconds.
MVP: Romelda Aiken (Firebirds)
Thunderbirds: GS Potgieter, GA Horjus, WA Nankivell, C Petty, WD Van de Merwe, GD Garrett, GK Sterling
Firebirds: GS Aiken, GA Bueta, WA Dunkley, C Ravaillion, WD Simpson, GD Jenner, GK Hinchliffe
Tania Obst On the most disappointing part of the match: “Probably the start of the third quarter, I thought we’d worked our way back into the game, we were very much in control of what we were trying to do. We’re never going to be perfect, we’re going to make some mistakes but we completely went away for five or six minutes of the third quarter and then they blow it out and that’s all it takes…We completely went away from what we should be doing…that really blew the game open for the Firebirds and they made the most of their opportunities”
On their upcoming fixture against Fever next week: “Doesn’t get any easier. We will go back and review moments of the match where we can be better. We’ll look at the start of that third quarter and the start of the game, we’re not far off, we had some fantastic play out there and now it’s about recognising how we don’t let one or two turn into three, four [or] five goals for the opposition”
Megan Anderson On the difference between the first and second half: “We could have [buried them in the first half], but I think in both quarters we had patches where we showed what we could do and that has been a bit of a hallmark for us this year unfortunately but I was really pleased that we lifted after half time and carried it on through the second half… We talk about all court defence and all court attack and I think today our defenders were a little bit lax on their work rate in attack which meant that the ball was really slow coming through the court which is something to work on this week”
On the change between Bueta and Dwan in the third quarter: “I wanted to get a little more movement in [the shooting circle] and throw something different at the Thunderbirds, they had a couple of turnovers from us and I wanted to get them thinking, didn’t expect it to be that long but Tippah played really well”
On the future of the season, as they sit just outside the top four: “We’ve definitely shown that we can beat the top four teams, we’ve beaten two of them and we’ve shown in patches that we can definitely beat Fever and Swifts as well. If we keep this intensity and this level of work rate I think we’ve got a good chance heading into the last four games but at the moment we’re taking it game by game”
GIANTS NETBALL 58 def COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES 49
Match report by Cara Gledhill
Maddie Hay had a great impact on the game in wing attack. Playing against one of the foremost wing defences in the league in Ash Brazill, Hay was strong onto the ball and the circle edge and negated Brazill’s aerial impact by timing her run onto the ball perfectly. Hay finished the game on 23 goal assists from a mammoth 42 feeds and didn’t miss a beat when her opponent was changed. Perhaps more impressively for an attacker, she also managed three defensive gains.
Jodi-Ann Ward was strong in defence for the Magpies. Partnering up with the double centurion in Geva Mentor, Ward’s read of the ball into the circle kept the Magpies in it during some tough periods in the first quarter.
The Giants were much more willing than the Magpies to play the ball back to Amy Parmenter (wing defence) and April Brandley (goal defence) on the centre pass. This made them more unpredictable in attack and opened up the space in their attacking third for Hay, Jamie-Lee Price and Sophie Dwyer to play the ball through the middle of the court on the second phase. This allowed an easy path into the shooters without needing to swing the ball across the court.
Sam Poolman had a great impact on Shimona Nelson in the first quarter, forcing her into multiple missed shots and errors by confusing space which affected the placement of the feeds in. This improved notably in the second and third quarters with Maggie Lind finding her feet and Molly Jovic stepping into more of a feeding role.
Julie Fitzgerald substituted Poolman for Matilda McDonell for the final quarter. Noticing that Poolman’s influence on Nelson had lessened, this was a crucial change in bringing the game home for the Magpies. In her 15 minutes on court, the young McDonell managed two defensive gains at crucial times.
The midcourt changes for the Magpies came late in the third quarter, with Brazill and Molly Jovic pushing up into centre and wing attack respectively, while Mel Bragg entered the game at wing defence. Prior to the change, the Magpies timing in attack noticeably fell off with training partner Lind appearing to tire. The change worked well, at least initially, with Brazill providing much needed drive through the centre third and was quicker to look for Nelson as an option.
WHAT needs improvement?
The Magpies will lament their inability to convert the ball they were able to win in defence. This was particularly noticeable in attack at the start of the game with Gabby Sinclair turning over the ball four times in the first quarter. While her performance improved, the connections in the midcourt were understandably shaky with Kelsey Browne out with injury and Maggie Lind thrust into both the matchday ten and the starting seven.
WHERE was it won and lost?
The Magpies stayed in touch until the final super shot period. But with Dwyer also willing to put up the super shots and the Giants only too happy to wear down the clock with passes, a win for the Pies was possible but unlikely. With Sinclair and Nelson both off target with their attempts early in the super shot period, the game slipped out of the Magpies’ reach.
HOW did she do that?!
Mentor and Ward combined for a great defensive grab against Dwyer just before the super shot period for the second quarter. With Dwyer setting up for a longer shot, Mentor lifted Ward in the air who went up with both arms completely blocking Dwyer’s view and the held ball call came shortly after.
MVP: Maddie Hay (Giants)
Magpies: GS Nelson, GA Sinclair, WA Lind, C Jovic, WD Brazill, GD Ward, GK Mentor
Giants: GS Harten, GA Dwyer, WA Hay, C Price, WD Parmenter, GD Brandley, GK Poolman
Suncorp Super Netball has made the decision to swap rounds 11 and 14 of the original schedule as they try to ensure teams get as many home games as is possible. There will be games on the Sunshine Coast, in Perth, Melbourne and a Victorian venue still to be decided. This is the new draw for Round 11:
Saturday, July 17
3:00pm – Lightning v Giants
8:00pm – Fever v Firebirds (6pm local time)
Sunday, July 18
1:00pm – Vixens v Magpies
3:30pm – Swifts v Thunderbirds
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 apps.